The New Heathens’ sophomore release, Hello Disaster, comes out swinging. Hello Disaster is band-leader Nate Schweber’s sophomore effort under the New Heathens banner and was produced by Americana icon Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Ryan Adams, Yahoos, Bottle Rockets, Steve Earle).
A worthy follow-up to the well-received Heathen Like Me debut, the record is an immediate good time rife with memorable hooks, heartfelt lyrics, pleasing vocals and old-school honky-tonk guitars.
They take the listeners through an uncannily pleasant de-ja-vu on a tour from backstabbing back home in “I Thought You Were My Friend” and hometown heartbreak in “Bastard Like Me” on the American liberty lover’s anthem “Proud Highway” to the honest pop “Don’t Think I Can’t Stop,” and keep cruising. Hooks are relentless and omnipresent on the album.
Air guitar skills and vocal harmony courage are prerequisites for listening to this captivating and memorable album.
This quality was not incidental. Missoula born Schweber is a staple in the lower east side roots rock scene, known for a steady set of appearances and arranging popular tributes. He harnessed this connection to the scene to assemble a memorable team that was ready for the task of creating a great album.
At the fore was producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Yayhoos, Steve Earle, Del Lords, Bottle Rockets) who co-captained the project, provided veteran ears, and even played lead guitar on “Proud Highway”. At Ambel’s and Schweber’s sides were Illinois guitarist Domenick Tiziano, Massachusetts guitarist Butch Phelps, Virginia bassist Brandy Wood (Cracker, Big Sister, Chris Barron, Cherry Red) and drummers Eric Seftel (Spanking Charlene) and Tony Graci (Tom Jones, Natasha Bedingfield, RoyHargrove, Chris Barron/Spin Doctors).
Cameo appearances from Yayhoo bassist Keith Christopher, accordionist Robert Arthur, and vocalist Charlene McPherson, of Spanking Charlene, helped to sweeten the stew and make for spicy, yet palatable, rock and roll.
Hello Disaster is the masterful collaboration of these artists, under Schweber’s direction, in the rearing of hooks, licks, and rhymes into mature songs that capture the essentials of memorable songs. Through the band’s collective depth of experience and Schweber’s personal strength of will to create a convincing final product, the New Heathens have released a second record that sounds like their tenth.
You can download, Proud Highway here, which is a track off of the album.