L.A. rawkers Kicking Harold are set to tour in support of their new studio album Zombies, Cars and Evil Guitars. For those Harold faithful who happen to make a show don’t be surprised if you find the set list peppered with a few songs you may not recognize. You’ll know them when you hear them by their grim subject matter and country twang elements. And while they are in lieu of the new Harold album tracks, just sit back, take them in and think of it as more bang for your buck.
“When I was in Kicking Harold and we were signed we were pretty much doing Tim’s (Tim David Kelly) music,” Anderson said. “But I was working on a collection of songs. They were kind of dark and unique but I just felt they had a story to tell.”
After sitting on the collection for a decade, a chance listen to Nikki Sixx’s Heroin Diaries gave Anderson a blueprint for the album in his head. Anderson approached Tim about the idea of the side project, he agreed and the Bloodshot Gamblers was born. The immediate task at hand was taking Anderson’s “framework tracks” and turning them into songs. “Being a bass player, I don’t sing and I don’t play guitar so these songs were all on cassette tapes with just me and a bass and well, it didn’t sound good,” Anderson said through laughter. “So I just handed them over to Tim and told him to do what he felt he should with them.”
Tim went to work adding guitar and vocals and switched up the track arrangements. With the added musical elements in place, the collaborative pieces began to fit. “They were amazing to hear. He just brought them to life and they turned out even better than I envisioned they could be.”
The Bloodshot Gamblers “Before It Is Too Late” MP3:
With the collaboration from L.A. to Tucson done, Pain and Other Simple Pleasures was unleashed. With its blend of classic rock meets modern rock with nuances of heart and soul country backing up Anderson’s darker lyrical subject matter of depression, addiction and loss, it was a letting go of years of nostalgia for the bassist. “These were all things I was dealing with throughout those 10 years,” Anderson admitted. “Music to me has always been a story. And the character you get from listening to it allows you to relate to the experience. Like I said, it is a bit darker in the vein of Heroin Diaries, but that vein is the right vehicle to tell these stories.”
“Spinning My Wheels” captures the dark undertone of the album with defeated lyrics, Kelly’s urgent delivery of them bolstered by a touch of doom and gloom guitar work. “My Broken Record” gives us the first listen of country-tainted, bent note guitar over heavy, driving chords and a powder keg chorus. Rounding out the diversity of Pain is “Before It Is too Late” with country acoustic strums and spoken word verses rounded out by the almost hopeful chorus of: “gotta keep waiting for a sunny day/gotta keep searching for a better place/gotta stop lying and let the pain escape/gotta get a hold of my life before it is too late.” The song is reminiscent of Shawn Mullins’ “Rockabye.”
Kicking Harold “kicked” off their tour with a much-anticipated show at the infamous Viper Room. For more information on upcoming tour dates go to www.kickingharold.com.
By Chris West – firstname.lastname@example.org