This is the third single taken from the forthcoming album ‘Looking For Love, Ready For War’, which is set for release in 2021. Same Old You was produced by the legendary Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance) and co-written with Atlanta-based writer/producer Butch Walker (Green Day, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Taylor Swift), it is a fun and upbeat rock and roll number with infectious melodies and artful musicianship, with lyrics about a relationship gone wrong

The song was co-written with Butch Walker. Tuk says of the experience, “It was really cool to write with Butch Walker, something I’ve always wanted to do. In Atlanta, he is a hometown hero and a really big inspiration to me so to be able to write with him was really special. I’m super stoked the song turned out so good. You never know what’s gonna happen, we had really good chemistry and it was a lot of fun”.

 Tuk’s musical roots run deep. Growing up as an outsider in rural Georgia, he found solace in hardcore/punk acts like Black Flag and The Exploited. From there, Smith branched out into exploring seventies New York bands like The Dead Boys and New York Dolls, which lead him across the sea where he embraced first-wave British acts like The Buzzcocks and the Clash. Smith wasn’t just a casual fan of these acts, he was obsessed with them and traced their lineage with fervent dedication. “I was always into the Clash growing up and Mick Jones’ favorite band was Mott The Hoople, so through the years I ended up developing a love of the first wave of british glam, power pop and things like that,” he explains. Soon Smith was forming his own acts, toured relentlessly and building a DIY following with his high-energy live shows.

Looking for Love, Ready for War is an album that has been a long time in the making and due to be released in 2021. It is the culmination of Smith’s already impressive career in music and showcases the versatility of his songwriting. His love of rock, punk, and glam come together into a unique amalgam that is at once fresh and new and also harkens back to music that is missing from today’s musical landscape. In many ways, it’s a musical homecoming for Smith that shows that though he’s covered with battle scars from perfecting his craft, he’s come out on the other side with an amazing collection of songs.

October 2, 2020(Atlanta, GA)– Better Noise Music rockers, Tuk Smith & The Restless Heartsrelease their new single and music video “Same Old You”. The song, produced by the legendary Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance) and co-written with Atlanta-based writer/producer Butch Walker(Green Day, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Pink, Taylor Swift) is a fun and upbeat rock and roll song with infectious melodies and artful musicianship, with lyrics about a relationship gone wrong. “Same Old You” begins a new chapter in the career of Tuk Smith who spent nine years as the frontman for Atlanta mainstays, BITERS. The music video showcases Tuk performing with his new band with great lighting and a cool rock vibe that amplifies the lyrics of the song.

Tuk says, “This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the record as it’s one of those recurring themes about a relationship I observed, I was kinda from the outside looking in. It struck me that people beg for second changes, and they say ‘I’m gonna change I swear I’ll be different this time, take me back, don’t fire me, I’ll do this..’ and a lot of the time they’re just bullshitting, and they turn around and are the same person. It takes a lot for somebody to change and they gotta want to do it.” 

Tuk continues, “I just kept seeing the person giving somebody more chances than they deserve with promises about how things will change this time.  Of course that never happened.”

The song was co-written with Butch Walker. Tuk says of the experience, “It was really cool to write with Butch Walker, something I’ve always wanted to do. In Atlanta, he is a hometown hero and a really big inspiration to me so to be able to write with him was really special. I’m super stoked the song turned out so good. You never know what’s gonna happen, we had really good chemistry and it was a lot of fun”.

 Tuk’s musical roots run deep. Growing up as an outsider in rural Georgia, he found solace in hardcore/punk acts like Black Flag and The Exploited. From there, Smith branched out into exploring seventies New York bands like The Dead Boys and New York Dolls, which lead him across the sea where he embraced first-wave British acts like The Buzzcocks and the Clash. Smith wasn’t just a casual fan of these acts, he was obsessed with them and traced their lineage with fervent dedication. “I was always into the Clash growing up and Mick Jones’ favorite band was Mott The Hoople, so through the years I ended up developing a love of the first wave of british glam, power pop and things like that,” he explains. Soon Smith was forming his own acts, toured relentlessly and building a DIY following with his high-energy live shows.

‘Looking for Love, Ready for War’ is an album that has been a long time in the making and due to be released in 2021. It is the culmination of Smith’s already impressive career in music and showcases the versatility of his songwriting. His love of rock, punk, and glam come together into a unique amalgam that is at once fresh and new and also harkens back to music that is missing from today’s musical landscape. In many ways, it’s a musical homecoming for Smith that shows that though he’s covered with battle scars from perfecting his craft, he’s come out on the other side with an amazing collection of songs.

There are many mysteries in this world, but one of the greatest for me is why Butch Walker is not a household name at this point in his career. From his humble beginnings with glam rock hopefuls SouthGang, to chart bothering, power pop sensations Marvelous 3, onto a burgeoning solo career that has accumulated no less than 8 solo albums over the last 20 odd years. Oh yeah, did I mention the day job? His production credits include the likes of Weezer, Panic At The Disco, Pink, Taylor Swift and most recently Green Day…need I go on?

For me, Butch Walker has a certain way with melody and wordplay that few can match. He has the ability to tell a story and tug at the heartstrings, putting the listener right in the picture. Every album has its own merits and every album is better than the last, as Butch strives to not repeat past work and continue to do something fresh.

When I first heard ‘Sycamore Meadows’, I thought he wouldn’t better it, until with his band The Black Widows, he released ‘The Spade’, and so it went on. A master of introspective and retrospective lyricism, his work culminated in 2016 with ‘Stay Gold’, a masterpiece of 80’s throwback stadium rock and lashings of Americana. The blue collar ethics of Springsteen and Bon Jovi were recreated and produced to perfection, the likes of ‘East Coast Girl’ and ‘Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night’ solidifying his reputation as one of America’s best kept secrets.

 

So how does Butch Walker take it up another notch in 2020? He only goes and releases a concept album, doesn’t he!  ‘American Love Story’ is a full blown rock opera, a story of hate wrapped up in glorious, upbeat signature melodies to die for.

Inspired by the 2016 presidential election, Butch started writing songs about bigotry and race hate, and he then found he could write about nothing else. No love stories, no break up songs. This is a story loosely based on his upbringing in Georgia and the characters he saw around him growing up in a small town environment. These are bittersweet tales told to a soundtrack of late 70’s /early 80’s rock radio from the point of view of a cast of characters. Most songs are sung from the perspective of Bo, a white, middle-aged bigot, along with the gay classmate he bullied in school and a hippy chick named Paris that he ends up marrying.

 

As with every story it has a beginning and an end. The album flows as one body of work, to be experienced with the press of a button and it will have your attention until the disc stops spinning. With segues and radio interference throughout, it does feel like a journey, a movie in audio if you like.

‘The Singer’ immediately gets the brain ticking with its “are we having a conversation? “ refrain, before first track proper ‘Gridlock’ introduces our protagonist as he returns to his childhood town. Musically, it’s prime Butch Walker, harking back in feel to ‘Letters’. Lush harmonies, a cool guitar lick and though provoking lyrics draw the listener in from the off. Whiffs of 70’s power pop emanate from the speakers, and the sounds of ELO and Gerry Rafferty fill the ears.

The radio friendly ‘Flyover State’ mixes spoken word drawl with upbeat acoustic vibes. Here Butch channels Lou Reed and Tom Petty, while the genius pilfering of Tight Fit’s ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ melody is cleverly changed to fit the theme, “freedom, dumb my way” he sings.

‘6ft Middle-Age American Man’ explores redneck stereotypes, to a happy-go –lucky, Billy Joel like piano led tune. And answers on a postcard if you can guess who the line “my Jesus wore a frown and a red ball cap” refers to.

Anti-love song ‘Fuck It (I Don’t Like Love)’ paints a stark picture of where our man comes from over a soundtrack of Kiss guitar harmonies and stadium-sized handclaps. We are then introduced to his school victim and his struggle with living the American Dream and ultimately coming out in the piano-led ‘Divided States Of America’.

We are mid-album and that leads nicely into the moment of change in the story. ‘Out In The Open’ is told from the perspective of ‘the bullied classmate’ in vivid detail. From the school days of bullying, empathising with Bo and ultimately the irony of pulling “the guy who called me ‘faggot’” from a car wreck and saving his life. Musically it’s ‘Hazard’ meets ‘Dry County’, FM territory done the Butch way, with an epic guitar solo to boot. I feel the contrast between the melody and the lyrics is what makes this song so damn immersive.

 

“So, are we having a conversation yet?” Announces Butch, as if needing confirmation that we are hooked. Side two sees Bo questioning his beliefs on ‘Torn in the USA’ and following pro-white radio interference, the funky ‘Everything White’ owes as much to Chic as it does to Springsteen and Gerry Rafferty.

‘Pretty Crazy’ introduces the hippy chick Paris, who comes along and changes Bo’s life for the better. Again, this is classic Butch, it could’ve easily fitted nicely on either of the Black Widows albums. A nice guitar line that follows the church choir “wooh-wooh’s” on a sweet melody. Catchy, soaked in summer vibes, with great bluesy guitar licks and handclaps, what more could you ask for in a song about a girl who claimed she did coke with Jesus in the bathroom of a train!?

‘You Gotta Be Just Who You Are’ sees our story jump a few years. Bo and Paris got married; they had a kid who turns out to be gay, oh the irony! But Bo is now a changed man, and this is a love letter to his son told over bombastic 80’s beats, swathes of electronica and choppy, guitar chords straight off a Duran Duran record.

Emotive piano-led closer ‘Forgot To Say I Love You’ is a haunting reprise.  Bo, now an old man, has lived, loved and lost. He takes the ashes of his wife across the desert to see the country as he always said they would.

 

Apparently, Butch has been sitting on this album for 2 years waiting for the right time to release it. With racist and homophobic references that will surely offend the not so open-minded, it’s a brave and ambitious album to put out into the world and it is sure to jolt minds and fire up conversation. Many will take it out of context and not realise these are the actions of characters from observations of an artist who grew up in a redneck town in Georgia, a place that still holds a place in the writer’s heart.

Even though ‘American Love Story’ was recorded pre-quarantine, the collision of upbeat, radio friendly melodies and dark subject matter make for a thought provoking rock opera, a snapshot of American life that is needed in these troubled times.

Buy ‘American Love Story’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

Green Day announced world tour dates today and the ones already confirmed are listed at the link along with a couple of new tracks off their soon to be released new album ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’.  they head out around Europe followed by the United States June 2020 the dates announced so far are at the link as well as pre-sale dates  – Tour Dates & Pre Sales Here

Those New Green Day songs are on the tour playlist

Spotify playlist with new Green Day tracks

Feb 7th is the release date of that new album Pre Orders Here

Call it what you like but Weezer have always done things outside of the box and this new record is certainly that. Sort of an appetizer for the new Black Album that’s about to drop this is a ten-track pop record of some fairly big hitters from yesteryear and Weezer have only gone and covered them with immaculate attention to detail and I very much doubt not a single tongue in cheek anywhere during the recording nor the selection for this record.

I’m sure there are plenty out there who will fondly look back on school discos where they first heard these tunes or TOTP shows where the likes of ‘Take On Me’ was on every week for half a year and even without MTV there was no escape but Rivers has excelled in his pop detail here and like Marmite this will divide opinion no question about it.

Me, It’s nice to hear his voice and such passion in pop classics but I’m sure once the (Real) new album drops this will enter the curio shelf and won’t ever get played again until someone reminds me of the time when Weezer did a pop Covers album.

‘Sweet Dreams’ is an immaculate pop tune and whether you dissect it like Marylin Manson did and make it your own or you pay homage to it Weezer style there is no denying its a slice of classically written pop from Dave Stewart and I’m sure he’ll appreciate the royalties kerching kerching! One of the most covered modern pop songs isn’t really a stretch for Rivers and co.

Now I must admit to never listening to A-Ha and always found Morten Hackets voice excruciatingly annoying and nothing has changed all these years later. Yuck! ‘Happy Together’ sees Weezer take a trip back into the ’60s and a grande take on this hall of fame number and its played with the same amount of gusto and pomp as the original.  I see a pattern emerging.

Aha (no not another Scandinavian cover but something with a bit of guitar on it. ‘Paranoid’ by Sabbath has a sickly sweet take I just hope they wore fringe satin jackets during the recording and consumed whisky whilst laying down the tracks. It wouldn’t be right if they didn’t – good effort though. We stay in the Midlands for a pomp rock version of ‘Mr Blue Sky’ which isn’t that much of a stretch if I’m being honest and if I were to guess that Rivers Cuomo has the entire ELO collection and no doubt is proud of it too.

‘No Scrubs is a song performed by TLC and was number one in about a bazillion countries which is no surprise and it now seems that since it was made public that Weezer covered it Chilli from TLC has given it her seal of approval (oh shucks thanks I’m sure) and has made it known that she wants to perform the track with the band.  Wow didn’t see that coming. Next up is a cover of Jacksons ‘Billie Jean’ whatever next?  It’s starting to wear thin now oh thank God there is only one more to go.  What started off as a hoot has worn thin please let it stop and get on with some original Weezer songs pleaseeeee?

Thankfully this circus is brought to an end with a set-closing performance of ‘Stand By Me’ which to be fair is again immaculately sung by Rivers and rocked up (if that’s really a thing) but it isn’t so much mirrored the original but twisted Weezer style and that’s fine by me.  ITs a great pop song pretty much like a lot of this but please can we have the real new album now please? Now that’s what I call music… Not that this isn’t its just not something you are going to listen to for long and is like a bit of a novelty.  so if you too are curious then check it out but be warned you might find yourself out looking for a DeLorean to go find some leg warmers and skinny tie. Oh and Teal is such a lovely colour. there end on a good point.

 

 

Buy Teal Here