Filthy Empire, Heaven’s Basement
My last album of the week was an old favorite. And this is a new favorite.
I really don’t have a special story to go with this one, since I’ve only known the album in its entirety for about two weeks. I do recall the first time I heard the band however, and while I liked the song (Fire, fire) and added it to my favorites, it didn’t particularly speak to me. I liked the rhythm, the instruments. It was a good song to listen to while doing mindless things like driving and cleaning. But often times I skipped the song to find one I liked better.
I’m constantly on the look out for new music. It’s a special thing for me to hear a new song and feel a connection. Whether it’s vocals or a guitar solo, lyrics. . . And to be perfectly honest, I connect first with the guitar parts and then find the lyrics and vocals. If all are solid, then I have a new favorite song. And while the band had a fantastic sound, Fire, fire didn’t make me want more. It’s been on my track list for a couple years though, the album was released in 2013. It wasn’t until I heard Lights out in London that I fell in love. This was fairly recent, and the song definitely spoke to me. The guitar, vocals, lyrics. . . So when I was looking for a new album of the week, and I was scanning through my favorites list, I figured the whole album was worth a listen. I wasn’t disappointed.
The best thing about music is that it can be interpreted differently by every person that listens to it. It can evoke a different feeling from one individual to the next. To me, Lights out in London spoke of walking away from unnecessary bullshit. And that was what I needed in my life at the moment. But in reading over the lyrics, it could be about leaving a one night stand, a job, or kicking an addiction. It could be even more literal, this guy wanted to leave London. It could be about leaving the shit hole town you live in. To me I heard the lyrics “I’ll kick the bucket before I walk back through this shit” and I felt it in my soul. Why go back to something that didn’t serve you?
Through the entire album I found little snipits of lyrics that pertained to this idea for me. And that’s what draws me to rock music, is the strength it makes me feel. Rock music is about not taking anyone’s shit, it’s about persevering, beating the odds. Over coming the worst. Looking at someone or something meant to break you and saying, “you got the wrong motherfucker.” I don’t quit, I don’t break. I knock down the opposing force and step over it and move forward. Nothing Left to Lose and Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch really encompass this idea. I’ve been through some rough shit, and there’s not much worse that can happen. I draw from that knowledge, knowing that what I’ve been through hasn’t broke me yet, so therefore I must be pretty damn unstoppable. But sometimes. . . Sometimes I need reminded. And that’s what this album did for me. It reminded me of the impenetrable force that I am.
The album reminded me of how much rock music boosts me, and how important it is to me. I’ve spent a lot of time recently listening to more bluesy stuff, and it was good to get that boost, that energy, that rock gives me. I’ve spent hours with this album, yard work and house work and driving, during writing sessions and while at my job (its a good thing I work by myself. They do use the term motherfucker in almost every song, multiple times. . . Which also spoke to me, haha) Every morning for forty minutes while I prepared myself for my day, this played in the backround. It helped me come to terms with my life as it is now, accept that everything happens for a reason. . . It reminded me of who I am. I love blues, but this harder side of me exists for a reason. This harder side, this bitch inside me that gives no fucks about anyone or anything that isn’t useful to my situation, exists so that I can further myself, not just for myself, but for those that rely on me. I wouldn’t be who I am, or have gotten where I am, without this harder bitch, and this album woke her back up. I couldn’t be who my children and brother need me to be without this part of me. I love them to the moon and back, and they are my vulnerability. But to protect what makes me vulnerable, I have to have a backbone of steel. I am Electric really touched on this, on needing to be many different things to do all that you need to do. I need to show my children and brother how important to me that they are. They need my attention and love. But they also sometimes need me to be their protector. It’s amazing what a song, an album, a voice or a guitar, can do to make you stand a little straighter and remember who the fuck you really are.
The band split up earlier this year I found in my research, splitting off to form two different bands. Both of which have great potential. I gave both a quick listen and have them bookmarked for further listening. The original band has a couple more albums for me, and who knows where my ear will take me going forward. But this album will remain in my favorites, for those moments when I need reminded that there’s nothing, no outside force, no person or situation, that I can’t beat.