When he’s not busy putting us to shame in an Arby’s eating challenge, or tweeting about that exact thing, Brendan Kelly’s got a handful of musical projects to keep him busy. Started over a decade ago The Falcon was a supergroup—a term the band would surely turn its nose up at—formed by some of Chicago punk’s best and brightest. For its first album in a decade, Gather Up The Chaps, the band’s lineup has shifted slightly. Kelly’s still at the forefront joined by his usual compatriots, his The Lawrence Arms bandmate Neil Hennessy and Alkaline Trio bassist Dan Andriano, but now The Loved Ones’ Dave Hause has entered the mix as well. The A.V. Club is premiering “The Fighter, The Rube, The Asshole” ahead of Gather Up The Chaps’ March 18 release on Red Scare Records. It’s a song that, like The Falcon often does, indulges in punk rock’s id, making the harmonized hymn of, “You ain’t nothin’ but an asshole” uplifting in the way that only a Falcon song can be. Kelly’s description only illuminates the track’s source material:
Every now and again, I’ll come across someone who steps onto a stage at a nice, large club, who looks around and acts bewildered. “Wow. This is real nice. We ain’t got nothing like this back home.” Never mind that this artist has perhaps played this very venue before. Never mind that this artist has sat on a tour bus on three continents and is in the top one percent of the most cultured, well traveled people on earth. False rubery is alive and well in rock and roll.
Similarly, I’m tired of these goddamn songs about struggles with addiction and poverty, and fighting out of deep, dark impossible situations as written and sung by someone who has no experience with real addiction, no experience whatsoever with any poverty or darkness that wasn’t self imposed, gleefully celebrated and then turned off when it was time to do something else.
At BEST, this shit is as disingenuous as it gets. I completely despise all this vulturish anthropological tourism for the sake of seeming genuine. So, presented here is “The Fighter, The Rube, The Asshole” to all the rich kids singing about being poor, all the fake hicks pretending to be lost in the big-time to seem more genuine and to the savvy cynics pretending to be addicts. Lick a dick, y’all.
Pre-orders for Gather Up The Chaps are available now through Red Scare Records.