Second Listen: “Memory Boy” Tigercub

Tigercub’s “Memory Boy” offers insight to the outsider’s perspective when it comes to experiencing racism and migration issues. It addresses the issues with an outsider perspective that reads matter of factly. The importance of addressing issues from a point of privilege is a difficult line to walk but many have done it before and have succeeded; Tigercub joins their ranks with this song.

 Lots of other bands throughout the years have released music with the intent of the masses being able to relate to their feelings on social issues. Whether it be to open people’s eyes, bring awareness, or just offer a place where people can agree. Songs like these have been around for a long time. Many artists in the alternative scene have decided to speak up about the injustices within their communities. Rage about white supremacy and classism are ingrained in alternative music. British alterantive music uncovers the issues at the root when people refuse to acknowledge it. Musicians turn both to each other and against one another in the name of human rights.

The Clash – White Riot (1976)

In August 1976, The Clash, who had hardly even been in the UK Rock scene for very long, Headlined a show, Rock Against Racism   dedicated to rebuttling against racist remarks made by Eric Clapton and David Bowie where Clapton codoned fascism and “sending [people of color] back to where they came from”. In “White Riot” we can hear a sort of call to action sort of theme in their words. As a call out to those who are adding to the race issues during this time. 

“God Save the Queen” Sex Pistols (1977)

The Sex Pistols are a notable 70s-80s punk band in the UK protest scene. One of their most recognizable tracks “God Save the Queen ” showed the same sort of compassion as Tigercub towards the mistreatment of people from a higher authority. “God Save the Queen” is an anti-monarchy anthem that trashes the Queen of England after her Silver Jubilee because the band was sick of the sentiments that followed WWII harming the lower class. Sid Visious and Jhonny Rotten have expressed on record   that this song isnt necessarily a loaded gun at the Queen but more so a sypathetic anthem for the downtrodden and tired. It is for people to scream and be seen. 

Sweet and Sour America – Demob happy (2023) 

Demob Happy is a band originally from the UK but decided to speak upon the issues in Amercia that they have experienced while on their latest tour. Amongst the other songs brought up here, the single takes a different approach to addressing issues. The underlying message of the song is essentially letting people know its alright to love where you live but you can’t be blind to its failures. The band explores the things they have seen as outsiders in this song expressing how America can be beautiful but can also be cruel and harsh. The song expresses how terrifying it can be in America as an outsider even when it is a good place to be. 


All of these bands talk from an observational point of view and play into each other in the way that their message and intent line up. None of the songs use terms like “I” or “we” and often keep to an omniscient point of view. They didnt write the songs for themselves but the people who look to them for answers, comfort, and company. They engage with the social unrest and the rage people feel. When we examine all of these songs we understand that sometimes you need anothers voice to support your own. Tigercub most definitely felt the things they were describing in their song but it’s simply not about them. It’s about the people involved and how society perceives them and the wrong doings brought upon them. These songs are about unity, acknowledgement, and compassion. Nothing is more passionate than a bunch of people with blaring guitars and a message.