Jason Heller is a badass. And I'm not just saying that because he was my amiable sidekick here at the paper for years. Besides being an extremely level-headed, insightful music writer with astounding sensibilities, undeniable depth and gloriously lyrical writing, dude's also an absolutely wicked guitarist. Not the in the shredder sense, rather in the expressive sense. One of my favorite things is watching him lose himself with absolute abandon playing with Red Cloud, particularly on that outfit's rendition of "Cortez the Killer."
Like I said, though, Heller's got depth. So it's not at all surprising to hear that he's formed a new power pop band called the Fire Drills; the guy's always had a pronounced love of bands like the Jam and Stiff Little Fingers, two groups his new band instantly recalls. The Fire Drills -- which also features Rob Burleson (Lion Sized, d.biddle) on drums, Brandon Richier (the Omens, the Volts) on vocals/guitar and Nick Anderson (the Risk, the Symptoms) on bass -- made its debut at Old Curtis St. a few weeks ago and is playing its second gig, which also happens to be its CD release show, on Friday, August 22 at the hi-dive, with the Shackletones and Spoke Shaver. In anticipation of the show, Heller and company have graciously bestowed us with the title track from Cheap Lies, their forthcoming EP, that we're now, of course, blessing you with. Enjoy. -- Dave Herrera