It is apparent that the musical lifeblood of Rivers Cuomo was sucked out of him by the good music vampire years ago- and ever since Weezer have been plodding along releasing one mediocre album after another. The great mystery of where Cuomo’s talent had until recently, never been solved. It seems that maybe, just maybe some of that talent has found its way to Cleveland rockers Heart Attack Man, the brainchild of Eric Egan.
Egan, the frontman of Heart Attack Man, has along with his fellow band members built a burgeoning following with their hook-laden, alternative-fueled brand of rock. Not only are they good at the music stuff, but they’re pretty good at building a following on generation now’s preferred mode of communication- social media. Truth be told, we’re not good at any of the social, but we are good at identifying good music. As soon as the opening guitar strums of their new song “Out for Blood” echoed in our ears, we knew that Heart Attack Man
Evoking the same kind of emotion that “My Name is Jonas” did, “Out for Blood” is just a small sampling of the band’s ability to craft a good song. Truth be told, there’s much to like on their debut album Fake Blood (more on that later), and this song is just one of the memorable tracks from the release.
Check out “Out for Blood” below and wonder no more if the songwriting spirit of Rivers Cuomo is alive or not. It is, it’s just in Heart Attack Man.
Fake Blood is out April 19th on Triple Crown Records.
Berwanger remembers “When I Was Young”
Berwanger preps new album with video for “When I Was Young”
For those who were big Vagrant Records fans in the late 90s and early 00s, there was one band that flew just under that Get Up Kids / Saves the Day radar. That band was The Anniversary, and while they didn’t quite reach the same heights as some of their more noted label mates, their two albums are still some of the best from that label, not just of that era, but period. Josh Berwanger knows, he was there. As lead singer for The Anniversary, Berwanger’s work along with his bandmates still has resonance to this day.
The Anniversary broke up in January of 2004 but John Berwanger remained busy all through the years after. And even though The Anniversary reunited in 2016, Berwanger continued to release and perform as a solo act under the moniker Berwanger.
Now Berwanger is on the cusp of releasing his new solo album, titled Watching a Garden Die (the follow-up to 2017’s And The Star Invaders). The new album is due June 28th via Wiretap Records and pre-orders are being taken now. In the lead up to the release, Berwanger has released the wistful video for the track “When I Was Young”- an ode to yesterday and growing up, wrapped inside that comforting super-8 video blanket.
The song features that great country-strewn sound of pedal steels and open roads and showcases the backing work of Hot Rod Circuit members Jay Russell and Casey Prestwood. This one is going to be a good one folks, I can feel it.
For those unfamiliar with Berwanger’s work, I would recommend checking out his 2016 album Exorcism Rock and of course, The Anniversary’s Designing A Nervous Breakdown.
Bruce Springsteen rides the “Tucson Train”
Bruce Springsteen’s “Tucson Train” may be the growing kind, but when it does, all the best qualities of Springsteen shine.
Few artists have been able to traverse musical diversity with as much success as Bruce Springsteen has. Over the decades, Springsteen’s Americana train has found success on various stops- Top 40 vibes, the solemn echo of stripped back acoustica, baroque- all done with aplomb. Now 19 albums into his storied career, Springsteen is preparing for another ambitious adventure that few have successfully done before.
His new album, titled Western Stars, is due June 14th and as RollingStone has so lavishly praised, is “some of Springsteen’s most beguiling work ever“. But true to that tone, RollingStone also said that the new work is “off-putting at first”, a sentiment echoed after listening to the first two singles “Hello Sunshine” and “There Goes My Miracle“. It’s a little slow burning, a testament to the very 60s/70s pop that permeates these songs. Maybe a little too avant-pop for Springsteen? Nonetheless, the latest track and video, “Tucson Train”, continues the vibe and does so with the same lush, dream-like instrumentation of the first two singles. But as Springsteen treks down this road it doesn’t take long for the familiar to regain its foothold; the gravitas of his voice, the aura, the connection his music (no matter what style) continues to have with the listener.
Springsteen has been very busy over the past few years. While Western Stars is his first album since 2014, his Netflix special and a year-long stint on Broadway is a reminder of how creatively restless and busy he always is.
“Tucson Train” may be the growing kind, but when it does, all the best qualities of Springsteen shine. And as the horizon engulfs the afternoon sun once again, we’re kept warm by the trusted and timeless.
Watch the video for “Tucson Train”: