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What happens when a bunch of renown pop punk doofuses suddenly grow up and start writing earnest, meaningful songs? In the case of Heart & Soul Radio, the act has emerged with a batch substantive tunes that are as compelling as they are tuneful. While its no American Idiot, the first three songs from these former members of Animo show immense promise and represent an undeniably solid progression from that band's most recent efforts, which itself was a far sight from the songs of the Dork, the outfit that spawned Animo. Although all three of the tracks from the Homeland Insecurity EP, which the band has made available for free download on its site, are noteworthy, our favorite of the bunch is "E.P.I.C.," a song dealing with trying to keep your head above water in the midst of this soul-crushing economy, whose soaring chorus recalls the best moments of Jimmy Eat Word. Read frontman Schulyer Ankele's thoughts on the new songs after the jump.
So this is the story of the state of our nation. A struggle. The guys in our band are what you would call "Regular Joes". We all work day jobs to support our love, music. So it was our day-to-day grind that inspired us to write "important" songs. Not important in the respect that we want them to be popular or that we want them to stand the test of time. We want these songs to be important because they are relevant and that they resonate with you and other people who can relate with our lives. In the words of Woody Guthrie, "I hate that song that makes you feel like you're no good. I hate that song that song that makes you feel like you were born to lose." We hope these songs are inspirational...
The first song we dubbed "Epic Song" as a joke when we were writing the music. Lately we had been working more than any one in a band should have to. If you know band guys it's a sin for us to wake up before noon. So our practice did not start out with anything we would call high energy. We had all decided to start jamming on different riffs and ideas we were screwin' around with. Brian pulled out a very subtle, simple riff (which for anyone who knows Brian is impossible) and Jimmy put an amazing rhythm to it right away. I was messin' around in the other room and heard the start of what I thought would be a magical song.
As I poked in to start playing bass I tried to play something very simple because the power of this song was already established. As we played on the song it began to grow into some kind of monster. The first obstacle was trying to write lyrics that would do this song justice. The three of us wrote a ton of vocal melodies while we rocked out at Sean's house. It was only a matter of narrowing it down to something deep and meaningful to the three of us.
It seemed like everyone we know was either battling to hold down their job or in dire need to find a new one. This song was the imagination of many second hand and personal accounts of people trying to get by. Our subject is your average schmoe. Two kids, one wife, and in a life completely beyond his means trying to keep up with the Jones'. Unfortunately like many other people we know this man's lies had caught up with him and has cost him everything.
The second song "On the Shoulders of Failures" is the reasoning behind why this happened to this man. We wrote this song before the elections when the country was and still is in a mode of holding their breath to see what happens next. The chorus was supposed to be tongue and cheek. "So we can go into debt or we can go into war" is meant to be sarcastic but eventually made the song take a serious tone. I had a feeling of neglect and thinking this is really the best we as Americans can do. The song is mostly about bitching at our politicians who seemed like they would rather see a country fail than to see their opponents succeed.
Reeling in our governments' suckiness we wrote "Generation on the Brink", a personal testament to not let our democratic nation take advantage of us. Lamely enough this song is written about our mortgage and lending industry. An industry that had been rewarded for collecting on people that defaulted on their loans then asked to be bailed out by the very people they've preyed upon for sixty years or better. This song is a call for personal accountability. If we work together we can kill those mofos at the credit card companies.
We hope these song inspire you to do what makes you happy in your life. If you have stories that you'd like for us to hear, we'd love to hear them. If you're down with us making it into a song let us know.
We present these songs with love.... You are the revolution.... You are our Heart & Soul Radio!!!!!