June 5th, 2013 — 5:54pm
Go here to order the album on 12″ vinyl or CD. It’s also available as a pay-what-you-like download, in multiple formats.
“Hank Williams lived in a rented shack that was near the imposing home of Herman Pride and his family, who did not let young Hank forget that he was poor and fatherless. They called him ‘Two-Gun Pete’ because he liked to play with toy pistols. He didn’t like the ‘Pete’ part and would never forget Herman Pride and the humiliation that he felt was visited upon him.” -Chet Flippo, Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams
More than 80 years later, a descendant of that same Herman Pride feels the ghost of Hank Williams taking revenge. Led by guitar player and singer Stephen Pride, Collisionville’s new album The Revenge of Two-Gun Pete is haunted by the angry spirit of Hank Williams laying his cold hand on Pride and his family. The album opener, “The Ballad of Herman P. Willis,” retells the story of the curse, and the other 9 songs carry through the eerie feeling of Hank Williams still getting even for the Pride family’s crimes against him.
Revenge is the band’s third album, completing the transformation that began with 2009’s I Spied a Spider. Gone are the post-punk stylings of 2005’s Hotter Heads Prevail, the band now fully embracing country and blues influences. It’s audible as the album picks up, with the Chess Records bottleneck of “The Devil Can’t Hurt You if You Don’t Believe,” the adrenalized country rock of “No Way to Live,” and “Try It on Your Horses,” which closes out the side with manic drum fills, fuzzed-out bass, and dirty, amplified harmonica.
Side Two is acoustic, opening with the plectrum banjo of “I Still Haven’t Seen the Light” (an answer to Hank’s “I Saw the Light”?), which features Jeanie Schroder from DeVotchKa on upright bass. These tunes also see the band adding more instruments to their repertoire: Pride’s pedal steel guitar lick opening “Dancing with a Broken Heart,” bassist Conor Thompson’s upright on the same (and a few other songs), and drummer Ben Adrian’s ukulele flourishes on “These Are Not the Words,” to name a few.
The moody second act closes with title track “The Revenge of Two-Gun Pete,” a reprise of the album opener played on banjo, acoustic guitar, and upright bass, with Hank’s ghost calling out the curse again through the window of that goddamned Cadillac. Make no mistake: Two-Gun Pete holds a vicious grudge.
LISTEN TO “DANCING WITH A BROKEN HEART” (mp3)
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December 13th, 2008 — 7:23pm
Hey, do you live in Fallujah? Or maybe you used to live in New Orleans but now your house is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? Can your car run on dried-up bacon grease? Do you have any money left? You didn’t leave it all with the bank, did you? Who the hell’s been running this place, anyway?
Oakland, California’s Collisionville—guitarist/vocalist Stephen Pride, drummer Ben Adrian, and bassist Conor Thompson—are dealing with these insane times by cranking out tunes reminiscent of ‘80s & ‘90s staples like The Pixies, The Replacements, or the whole SST camp—only in a post-grunge world, where Reaganomics long since gave way to the Bush body politic that’s left us high and dry.
Fittingly, the band’s second full-length, I Spied A Spider, will drop January 20th, 2009—Bush’s last day in office. While 2005’s Hotter Heads Prevail indulged frontman Pride’s post-punk leanings, Spider draws heavily on other influences, infusing Collisionville’s already-rollicking sideshow with Americana twang, and giving Pride a chance to display his ample banjo chops.
The album’s packed with confessionals that wryly lay out good times and bad—hell, mostly bad. The people in these songs have no power to affect things politically, personally, internally. Still, Pride’s dour lyrics are so riddled with humor they can’t quite mask the secret optimist. “You still got nine good fingers / There’s a guy outside who’d kill for your job / His family’s eatin’ shit for dinner” spits Pride on the plodding rocker “Keep The Sweatshops Blazin’.” “Please Spare the Life of Your Cocaine Dealer” marries flip lyrics fitting of its title with a hillbilly-via-Brit-Invasion shuffle. And what of that twang? “Another Cold Shoulder” is a Gram Parsons-style barnburner, and “Sleeping in a Tree” rattles off plenty of mutant Neil Young swagger.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “PLEASE SPARE THE LIFE OF YOUR COCAINE DEALER” (mp3)
And so the story takes another turn. These past eight years, Collisionville have been measuring their frustrations in decibels, and I Spied a Spider is the byproduct. January 20th, 2009. Don’t let the Oval Office door hit your ass on the way out.
Praise for Collisionville:
“Northern California’s Collisionville fuses a loud, post-punk sound with down-home Americana to create sardonically sincere songs that are well put together and streaked with the humor that eludes more self-serious bands.” -Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired Magazine
“Frontman Stephen Pride hasn’t forgotten indie rock icons like Pavement, the Replacements, and Hüsker Dü. But as Dinosaur Jr. and Built to Spill taught us, an unhinged guitar is nothing without a sturdy song. Pride’s range extends to country and blues, and a line like ‘I’m not looking for a paradise, just a cleaner jail’ proves he means it.” -Nate Seltenrich, East Bay Express
“Stephen Pride’s song craft is dynamic, full of unexpected turns…” -Dan Vermont, The Owl Mag
“I think Frank Zappa would have liked some of Collisionville’s music .It’s funny and insinuating; it creeps up on you. It’s got fucked time signatures and whacked guitar parts played because that’s how the composition was going and they took themselves seriously in the right way…” -Brian Keizer (Spin Magazine & the SF Bay Guardian)
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