Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blast from the Past: For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True

Title:  For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True (Amazon, iTunes, Last.fm, AllMusic)
Artist:  Hudson Falcons (Official, Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm, AllMusic)

If I had to describe the Hudson Falcons’ sophomore album, For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True, in one word it would be manic.  The energy level on this record is gigantic, making the music that much more powerful. 

The Falcons’ debut album, Desperation & Revolution, was an excellent mix of rock ‘n’ roll (ala Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones) with oi/77 style punk rock (ala Stiff Little Fingers and Cock Sparrer) that leaned more on the latter than the former, thus garnering the band a healthy following in the oi/street punk/skinhead scenes.  One thing that the Hudson Falcons never were though was an oi band and that is a point that the band has been trying to drive home ever since.  Their first shot at being more than just another street punk band was 2001’s For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True.  The record opens with an ode to those who do things their own way, “Different Breed.”  Next is “Sleep, Drive, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Repeat” a song dedicated to the glories of life on the road.  Both songs are pounding rock ‘n’ roll numbers that have far more in common with The Devil Dogs and Electric Frankenstein than Cock Sparrer or Stiff Little Fingers.  These songs also set the stage for the album to come.  There are songs about patriotism (“Requiem for a Patriot”), veterans (“Fallen Heroes”), workers (“Scab,” “Real Tough Guy,” and “I’m a Worker”), friendship (“Loyalty”), and living life to the fullest (“Wild Hearts”).  The album’s best moment is also its quietest.  “Disciples of Soul” is an extraordinary song about living life on your own terms with loyalty to your loved-ones and fighting the evils of the world no matter how hard and daunting that fight becomes.  “Disciples of Soul” is truly the greatest anthem that the world has never heard.  The record also includes three killer covers in “Johnny Law”, “Stay with Me” (originally performed by The Dictators), and a blazing rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Open All Night” (this song is often used as the closing number at Falcons’ live shows). 

For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True is one of the Hudson Falcons’ tightest albums, and probably the best performed record in their catalog.  I was lucky enough to see the lineup that recorded this record live a few times and they were a sight to behold, with an energy and passion that I have yet to see duplicated or matched.  What’s also great about this record is that it in no way sounds dated.  Even though it is 10 years old, it doesn’t sound like a record from 2001.  Instead it sounds like a great rock ‘n’ roll album and that is exactly what it is. 

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