LA-based roots-rock band Jason Heath And The Greedy Souls is set to release its new album, But There’s Nowhere To Go, on October 13, 2017 via Industrial Amusement. It is the band’s second album for Wayne Kramer’s label. The record is a cry from the broken belly of the American Dream, where time, neglect, and corruption have taken their toll on this grand experiment called the U.S. of A. Seems like there’s nothing left to do but howl at the moon, and set out through the wilderness of the unknown in search of a new direction.
The new songs were mostly written as the band was on tour after the U.S. Presidential election last November. Traveling the country in its aftermath, Heath saw and heard from all walks of American life and put those observations into his new work. “It couldn’t be helped,” says Heath. “We are losing our national identity. Everyone is looking for someone else to blame. Faith in the status quo has been lost. There is a general feeling of confusion and misrepresentation, no matter who one voted for. There is a national ambience of panic, a fear of the unknown, and an overall distrust of any institution.”
Songs run the gamut of relevant, current-headline topics in today’s American psyche. “Fair Fight” pulls no punches, exploring the idea that this country and what it’s supposed to stand for are well worth fighting for (“We’ve been waiting too long… so bring it on!”). “Postcards From The Hanging” is a forceful demand that we all remember that something is broken in this promised land that has been divided for 400 years and is a stark exposé on racism. The ballad “Miss Arizona” weaves a tale of love gone wrong with winners, losers, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his helpless victims, and those who would like to deny others access to the American Dream (“you can’t entertain angels if you don’t let them in”). “Garden of Machines” takes on environmental and human destruction of our Earth, driving home the fact that greed and technology cannot be sustained. “We are collapsing under its weight, and we’re running out of options, and time,” says Heath. “This sounds heavy – not your standard pop song fare – but I, and many others more qualified than myself, believe it’s a discussion that needs to happen. Before it’s too late.”
The harsh truths keep coming. “South Of Babylon” explores the idea that if human beings continue to follow corruption with such complacency, plodding along like drones, there will be a steep price to pay (“the obedient ain’t guilty, they just play their part”). “The Ballad Of The Brown Bomber” tells the story of how heavyweight champion Joe Louis gave up his best fighting years to enlist in the Army to boost morale in the fight against the Nazis. For this, the IRS helped themselves to most of his money. “Here Comes My Savior” is a clear examination of how folks tend to blindly trust leaders and looks at where that gullibility has gotten us.
“Nowhere To Go” is a summation of the album and it’s a shotgun blast, uptempo rager that suggests that this broken-down locomotive of a country has run out of track and we need to get busy repairing it. “We’re now nationally and globally at the place where we need to, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated, reach for and be touched by the better angels of our nature,” says Heath. “To give up the ghost of what we think this country is or used to be, and begin again - better. To rise. There is hope in surrender. It’s all possible, but only if we’re honest with ourselves about our past, and willing to come together to unite as one for the common good.”
Record stores might have filed their previous releases under “Americana,” but it’s unclear what that means to the band anymore, as they’ve incorporated the musical influences of punk, alternative, soul, garage rock, blues, and jazz into their sound, while pushing the expected boundaries of a typical alt-country, folk rock, Americana production.
Produced by Mike Fennel, Heath, and The Greedy Souls, But There’s Nowhere To Go builds on the same foundation of fiery roots-rock heard on their previous albums, which prompted Paste Magazine to call their first record, The Vain Hope Of Horse (which featured guests Tom Morello [Rage Against The Machine], Wayne Kramer [The MC5], and Nels Cline [Wilco]), “a wonderful debut: ragged, soulful, and well written.” Famed rock journalist Dave Marsh said of their second disc, Packed For Exile, “Jason Heath And The Greedy Souls speak to the heartache and joy in the world, with the wisdom not to try to separate them, and the skill to make all of it beautiful.” And American Songwriter lauded their last release, A Season Undone, writing, “…if you’re a fan of rock and roll, it deserves to be on your shortlist as one of the most heartfelt, honest and intelligently soulful rocking albums of the year.”
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