There are few things that make me happier than hearing from the Taxpayer camp. The Taxpayers, if you don’t remember, were the incredibly political, folky, punky, jazzy, and just plain volatile punk band from Portland, OR; they released such incredible albums as God, Forgive These Bastards: Songs From The Forgotten Life Of Henry Turner, Big Delusion Factory, and Cold Hearted Town.
The Taxpayers are gone for the time being but the people in it aren’t, and by the good graces of DIY, five members have come together to form the Trusty Snakes. The album’s called New American Frontier and it’s surprisingly a pretty earnest country album. And better yet: it’s great fucking music. The songwriting is melancholy and down to earth, blue collar and twangy, born out of a love for a uniquely American storytelling tradition.
Noah Taxpayer had this to say on the band’s beginning:
“Touring around the country and playing grimy punk shows, which we love, we found ourselves buying a lot of cassette tapes. And a lot of them ended up being country. Some obvious well-known artists and weird ass compilations of songs about the nuttiest country-fried nonsense. We loved them all. Getting older and our sensibilities changing, country seemed to be the appropriate next step for us as a band. A lot of the same values of being a DIY punk resonates within country music. So we became the Snakes. Writing songs about redemption, sadness, hopelessness, inspiration, heartache, and joy.”
While it may not be straight punk, there’s still a lot to say for the form and its relation to punk’s base tenets. Here is music made for the working class, by the working class—a realm of experience oft forgotten, preserved here in the oral tradition. Check out the album below.