Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Underappreciated Band Alert: Hudson Falcons

I was first exposed to the Hudson Falcons in 1999 when Jim at Music Dimensions grabbed me right after I walked into the store and started going on and on about this amazing band that had played there the night before.  I left the store with copies of The Rat is Dead EP, the Hudson Falcons EP, and the 4 Bands From Jersey That Could Change Everything compilation and have been a fan ever since.  What first hooked me was the song “Free Lori” on the 4 Bands… comp., but the song that made me realize that this band was truly something special was “Latin Knights” from The Rat is Dead.  Here was a song that was quiet before truly kicking the door down with its passion, energy, and honesty.  It was also a song that displayed a deep understanding of the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll far beyond punk rock and served as an indication of things to come.

The band’s full-length debut Desperation & Revolution was the perfect melding of Stiff Little Fingers, The Devil Dogs, and Bruce Springsteen.  It was also the record that would later come to define the band for many.  Released during the street punk explosion of the late 1990’s on GMM Records, the album and their blistering live shows helped the band garner a loyal following.  Their follow-up, For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True, showed the band moving away from the street punk/oi influence of their earlier material in favor of a raw stripped down style of garage punk.  This record was also recorded by, what I think was the band’s best line-up.  After lots of touring, a few EPs and split albums, and some more line-up changes, the Falcons’ returned with La Famiglia.  Comprised of some of the band’s most well written songs, La Famiglia was a rock ‘n’ roll record in the vein of “Sympathy for the Devil” era Rolling Stones.  This record also solidified the direction the band would take going forward.  The band’s next two records Desire to Burn and Dancing Underneath the Moonlight completely shed any of the lasting street punk influence, picking up where La Famiglia left off while at the same time inserting elements of alt country and college rock into the mix.  The result was nothing short of rock ‘n’ roll brilliance. 

Over the years the Hudson Falcons have continued to tirelessly tour the globe spreading their working class rock ‘n’ roll to all that will listen.  Despite this, and their ever maturing and evolving catalog, the band has found itself in a bit of a conundrum in that they cannot shake the, for lack of a better term, stigma of being a street punk/oi band.  Yes their early releases fit squarely into that genre, but now the band’s music has far more in common with the like of The Hold Steady, Lucero, and The Gaslight Anthem than Stiff Little Fingers.  This label has made it hard for the band to gain fans outside of that scene and that is not only sad but it is a damned shame.  This is a band that truly knows rock ‘n’ roll and shouldn’t be held down by any one label. 

For more information on the Hudson Falcons check out their official websiteFacebookTwitter, MySpaceReverbNationLast.fmiHeartRadioRhapsody, and AllMusic pages.  Also make sure to check out the Otter Limits’ post Hudson Falcons: Discography of the Moment.

Previous Hudson Falcons’ Posts –

Purchase Hudson Falcons’ Music –
Desperation & Revolution (Amazon, iTunes [GMM Records], iTunes [Street Anthem Records])
For Those Whose Hearts and Souls are True (Amazon, iTunes)
La Famiglia (Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Singles Collection 1997-2002 (Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Desire to Burn (Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Dancing Underneath the Moonlight (Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)
Sleep, Drive, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Repeat (Amazon, Interpunk)
Note:  Many of the band’s releases can be purchased directly from them here.

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