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Heartless Bastards Release New Single "Revolution"





Heartless Bastards Release New Single "Revolution"

 

As an American people, we’re reckoning with what the likes of a modern-day revolution will look like. There’s no telling if, when or where - but the Heartless Bastards would like to take this moment to remind you that you control it in your mind. Back with their first release in over five years since breaking through to the Billboard 200 with ​Arrow​, the band has an answer for the moment with their new single “Revolution”.

Clocking at over six minutes, “Revolution” paints a broad stroke of melodic brilliance as it ponders what brought us all to the brink. Name-checking Big Brother is part of bandleader Erika Wennerstrom’s Bowery-via-Americana method of marrying the merits of class-checking punk rock to class-obliterating folk. She catalogs being watched and solicited by the other while fuming about the disparity between the haves and have-nots - it works out like Melissa Etheridge covering a Patti Smith deep cut.

In choosing to return with a call for revolution, the Heartless Bastards don’t abandon any of the cred they’ve built over the last two decades. Instead, they retrain their focus and aim a little higher. Sonically, the tune starts out as typical fodder for musical call-to-arms: languid, easy and slightly psychedelic in the same vein of later Lennon compositions. Then, all hell begins to break loose.

As the lyrics get angrier, the music builds to match. Tension vents like steam as the song gets louder and louder. Lyrics transform to stream-of-conscious blurts, like a folkloric take on the Ramones’ “Ignorance Is Bliss”. The lyrical cadence suits the subject matter and the song extremely well, as rambling about commercialized life, happiness pills and gilded political lies is less a dissociating experience than it is a heartening wake-up call in this context.

After laying down the state of the world as she sees it, Wennerstrom frames her thesis in six words: “The revolution is in your mind.” That is to say, we all control it as much as we control our thoughts and actions. We are the generators of our own compassion and empathy, and we pass our energy along to the next generation after we go. You can hear the longing in the extra millisecond Wennerstrom pauses when she sings, “Do you...remember?” It’s a desire in her for this song to start something new, to gin up some trouble, and to replace fear with hope. And it’s the idea that we’re more than capable of doing so.

- Mike Floeck

Published: August 24, 2020 |

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