PLAYING DETROIT: Thunderbirds Are Now! End 10-Year Hiatus with Trump Protest Anthem

COLUMNS|Playing Detroit

Pioneers of Detroit’s early 2000’s caffeinated punk movement, Thunderbirds Are Now! shake off unofficial retirement to rework an old track for the new regime. “Outsiders” finds our riotous foursome angrier than usual and not at all rusty as they hauntingly remind the elected puppeteers that “we are the outsiders, and we’ll be watching you.”

Our protagonist, a defiant youth clad in a terrifying paper Trump mask (and iconic Vans slip-ons), runs amok in suburbia with an arm full of fireworks while real-life Trump tweets troll the screen. It seems like a dystopian nightmare but the cleverly simplistic visual for “Outsiders” elicits an urgent call to action that overpowers those fears. Remember when Green Day delivered the unnerving American Idiot saga? This follows suit, but makes the Bush administration feel like a thunderstorm compared to Trump’s locust-infested pre-apocalypse.

The chorus kicks off with “You’re not our president!” over an energetic, ragged and shimmering orchestra of punk perfection and we are forced to soak in our own festering distress while still managing to shimmy through the despair. Thunderbirds Are Now! may have stayed quiet over the past decade but they’ve reemerged with an artillery of words that will surely become a rigid patch in the quilt of American protest anthems.

Get fired up with “Outsiders” below and visit Thunderbirds Are Now! Bandcamp to download the latest tracks. All proceeds go to benefit the ACLU.

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