Today is all about fun! Andrew Bassett, best known as Jeans Wilder of Mean Jeans is releasing a 7″ on Drunk Dial Records under his alter-ego The Hound of Love. Drunk Dial #4, is set for vinyl and digital release on August 23, and Dying Scene has been graced with the opportunity to stream it for all our homies a couple days early. Who couldn’t use a little synth-pop wonderment to get them through the groggy, hot midweek? Back to school, fuckers! Mean Jeans fans, we got you! Also, be on the lookout for their new album releasing on Fat Wreck Chords next week. Stream Drunk Dial #4 and check out the scoop on The Hound of Love and Drunk Dial Records below. The Hound of Love’s last release was Careful Houndy in 2013.
Here’s the e-mail I received from Dunk Dial:
ANDREW BASSETT (MEAN JEANS) IS “COMIN’ THRU” ON SEVEN-INCH THAT FEATURES COVER OF RANCID’S “JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE EAST BAY”
You probably know Andrew Bassett best as Jeans Wilder, one crucial third of pop-punk masters Mean Jeans. But when he’s not touring and recording with the best pop-punk band in the world, Bassett flies solo and indulges his love of eighties new wave as The Hound of Love.
Having released full-length cassettes on Burger Records and Plastic Response Records in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Houndy was poised to become a prolific one-man factory of finely honed nostalgia. Instead, he went into tinkering mode. “Since Careful Houndy came out I’ve been doing what I always do, which is recording a bunch of song ideas and little jams and whatnot at home and hoarding them on a hard drive,” Bassett explains.
Now, after five long years of public silence, The Hound of Love is ready to bless the world anew with his pleasure-seeking brand of synth-pop bliss, and Drunk Dial Records couldn’t be happier to have a hand in his return.
For those who don’t know, here’s how Drunk Dial Records operates: we invite artists we adore into a recording studio to write and record an original song and cover a classic tune in one session. But there’s a catch! The artist or band in question must compose and perform these songs while inebriated. The recordings are then released as a 7” vinyl single.
Bassett was kind enough to play along, and he delivered a killer one-two punch. On the ridiculously catchy A-side, “Comin’ Thru,” Houndy pays homage to bygone chart-toppers like OMD, Oingo Boingo, Naked Eyes and Men at Work. It sounds like something that belongs in a movie theater circa 1986, blasted through multiplex speakers as the credits roll on John Hughes’ latest paean to teenage chaos.
For his drunken cover, Bassett reached back to a tour memory for inspiration. We’ll let him tell the story:
Mean Jeans were on tour in Denmark years ago and I found one of those tiny iPod nano things buried in some dirt and grass in a courtyard somewhere. Plugged it in once we got in the van and it turned on, so I checked out what was on there. There was a bunch of hilarious stuff, but this band Scooter was the definite highlight. The most absurd techno music with totally over the top German-accent broken-English vocals and fake overdubbed rave crowd noises etc. For years after that I would put on Scooter in the van to ‘get in the zone.’ So recently I was researching Scooter and found out that some of the members used to be in a synth-pop band in the 80s called Celebrate the Nun. I downloaded one of their albums out of curiosity at the airport before I was boarding a flight. As we were taking off a song called “Cry No More” came on. Quickly I realized it was the same chords (what I call the ‘forbidden chord progression,’ used on 10 billion songs, and at least 5 other songs on And Out Come the Wolves) as ‘Journey to the End of the East Bay’ and I started singing along in my head. It cracked me up so much that I made a mental note of it: ‘I should do a Rancid cover in this style.’ Not long later when Jordan from Drunk Dial hit me up and said he wanted one cover song and one original song for a 7″, I thought, ‘perfect.’ If you listen to that ‘Cry No More’ song you can hear the direct influence.
And that, dear reader, is how The Hound of Love found himself transforming one of Rancid’s best songs into the wistful power ballad on side B of Drunk Dial #4. Never thought a Rancid song would make you cry? You might have been wrong.
*a note from the llama: I couldn’t have said it better myself. ENJOY!
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