New Attractions – “Hole In My Heart”
By Jay Armstrong
It is no secret that my love for The Rich Hands goes deep. Not a week passes without throwing on one of their records, especially Take Care, so hearing the New Attractions first release “Hole In My Heart” obviously hit with a blind force of hell yeah. Sure this is a band which includes members of Crocodile Tears and Trouble Boys but as long as Cody Mauser is fronting it there will be no escape from referencing how it sounds along The Rich Hands spectrum. This new project steps back in the direction of their Out of My Head era (ie, more King Tuff less Doug Sahm), an assumption hypothetical with only this first single to go off of in figuring out what the beat of New Attractions is about but with the talent he has pulled in around him to expect anything less seems foolish . Sure there is apprehension when typing this out, not towards the band itself, Mauser has proven himself quality, consistent, we know whatever he throws our way will be gold, this nervousness taps me on the shoulder in realization that my writing about Jimmy Wildcat’s bands is getting dangerously close to blind fandom– probably one in five articles written over the last few years has had something to do with the guy– lucky for us I refuse to get personal with reasons not to write about a killer band and the bastard found a way of playing drums for yet one more, so despite the proverbial handjob I seem to be giving the dude every three months, he has earned one more I guess. I have no dignity, living is easy, who cares.
It is difficult making sense from what exactly is off recently, it would be a short conversation to say the least between you and I if we were to try discussing local bands with substance. Everyone I talk to, every show I hit up, every new album that gets sent my way feels like a whole lot of kicking dust in circles with little legitimacy. This happens from time to time, momentum back builds, alliances are formed one by one, things will light on fire again. These limbo periods suck, sure our cities are changing, overpopulation by parasitic people offering nothing but dull personalities and bare minimal effort to sustaining the communities they are flocking to is a genuine concern. Lame excuses and blames placed on others for what we ourselves are not doing to kick this stasis to the curb get us nowhere. This is why New Attractions is a goddamn commodity. We need twenty more bands to kick their amps on, say screw-all to the sound guy and just light into some rock n roll. We need more bands who aren’t afraid to power up a chorus, more people willing to accept the fact that things can be catchy without being commercial. We need the good time, bands have and always will be the first step towards making it happen.
Now that the 90’s resurgence has been swallowed whole by the all ages venues we begin seeing grasps at getting back to the good time swing-your-mug sounds being drawn into focus as happens whenever plastic trends find their way leaking daily from cracked window mini-van stoplights where quick glimpses at the snot nose kids climbing walls of patience remind us once more why we threw on a leather jacket in the first place. I guess the question facing us once more is are we really about what we want to be about? New Attractions obviously are. It is time we put our queer shoulder to the wheel and get down to the job, salvation comes not without effort, relationships atrophy without participation on both sides
To make such a foot tapping good time out of what lyrically could come off as drab whoa-is-me negativity as heard in “Hole In My Heart” is the precise refocus we must continually look to for reaffirmation that rebirth is possible. If anything, this song is light to the path of our journey towards embracing just how to go about it. It is a shout to the cosmos, an understated mantra, reminding us we need each other; our jobs, our ambitions, even our creative outputs do not mean shit if we aren’t using them as a means to come together and lift each other up. We treat shows as though they are no longer important, everyone has an excuse why they will be at the next one instead. Working on yourself does not call for isolation, more than ever you/I/WE need to be out sharing these records and sharing these nights in an echo chamber of this is us us US. The ambient togetherness which encapsulates our sweetest memories, our deepest personal growths, was not a fluke, we must continually lay ourselves at the alter of our community again and again to experience it. Crush your judgement for the others who might come out not in your tight circle, there was a time when we all were strangers, crush this idea that every single band you take the time to stand before must be on some seventies CBGB level of importance, decide for yourself which band is sparked by greatness and champion them. This thing does not work if we won’t lift each other up, New Attractions could bring us together if you would let them. Are we going to allow some non-trend sound of legitimacy get overlooked once more?
Do me a favor, clear your mind and embrace just how fast this year passed you by, really think about it, the blur grey nothing of “damn it is already summer? Wait summer is over? Are those Halloween decorations at the grocery store already?” Hold onto that for a second, now soak up the realization that in fifty years you and I, if we happen to be one of the unlucky ones to live so long, will be sagging water bags of reshaping mush, invisible to most, disregarded by the rest. That is the reality of “the future” you are putting your life on hold for. Now play this New Attractions video and get on board with what we need to do about it; accept that even through a broken heart comes beauty, with loss comes strength,balance, inspiration. Say to hell with the excuses, suck it up and get your feet moving, allow yourself to dance, be pumped while getting ready to go out. So what if the night doesn’t go the way you want it, stay positive, ask yourself every moment along the way “am I rock n roll” and if you forget what that means or what that feels like then New Attractions are playing Hotel Vegas on Friday for the perfect chance to give us all a refresher course. If you’re not already stuck slaving for the man maybe make your way over, Mean Jolene and Gringo Star are on the bill as well, let’s be good again.