Welcome Home

by Red Collar

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about

Welcome Home is now available from by Tiny Engines on vinyl and digital download. We recommend the vinyl.

tinyengines.limitedrun.com/bands/red-collar

Three years in the making, Red Collar's Welcome Home fulfills the promise of the band's acclaimed debut full-length, 2009's Pilgrim. Welcome Home continues the tradition of heart pounding indie punk & roll from the Durham, NC quartet but expands the palette with dynamic results. Red Collar combines the jagged rhythms of DC punk along with the soulful, working class spirit and lyrical bend of bands like The Hold Steady and The Gaslight Anthem. Never shying away from their influences, the band proudly displays the earnestness of Springsteen, the boldness of The Replacements and the swagger of The Clash firmly on their sleeves.

Welcome Home is packed to the gills with tales, odes, and paeans of day-to-day American life, with the Norman Rockwell gloss completely removed. We’re not talking about fresh-faced kids singing about parties and idealized struggles of the proletariat in an attempt to be the next reincarnation of Kerouac. We’re talking about kids, jobs, families, mortgages, and more – the responsibilities of grown-ups who have to think in the long-term.

Call it a hearty dose of the street-wise sensibilities possessed by The Gaslight Anthem mixed with the fervor of Titus Andronicus and the sincerity conveyed by The Boss in his current elder statesman role. More importantly, despite the easy sonic touchstones I’ve mentioned, the band most assuredly possesses its own voice and personality, and this can be heard most plainly in the matter-of-fact delivery and no-frills production aesthetic. “Orphanage” set a fine stage for the album, while standout cuts like “American Me,” “The Old Piano Roll,” and “This House,” are powerful, energetic, and hopeful, despite the harsh realities of life. And “Welcome Home” brings the record to a rousing conclusion that reminds us all that you can go home again, and that there are probably people who love you waiting for your return.

The plaintive, pretentious, and petulant among you are encouraged to sack up, set aside your laptop recording devices, and listen to a bunch of men talk about the actual consequences of being responsible for your actions. Welcome Home is a vintage, fist-in-the-air guitar rock record created by a bunch of truth-telling street preachers who manage to pen a stirring ballad or three without the over-the-top bombast fashioned by the Arcade Fires of the world. In short, Red Collar works as a fitting metaphor for this group on many levels – working-class music by the working-class from a red state who aren’t afraid to bleed a little bit for the things that are most important to them.

And that’s the overarching strength of Red Collar – these thirty-somethings set aside their steady-paying jobs in North Carolina and committed themselves to making music that actually has a purpose. All that you know and love about Red Collar remains but Welcome Home opens up into hauntingly beautiful songwriting territory that touches on the timelessness of Americana roots. Red Collar is back and they are better than ever. Welcome Home indeed!

credits

released 12 June 2012

Jason Kutchma - Vocals / Guitar
Michael Jackson - Guitar / Vocals
Beth Kutchma - Bass / Vocals
Jonathan Truesdale - Drums

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Track Name: The Orphange
Stand up boy stand up tall
Shoulders straight against the wall
Your best smile, you bow your head
Say yes sir and yes ma’am
I feel like I’m in a firing line
I’ve been here so many times
Give me a blindfold
And one last request

I’m no babe for them to clothe
But not yet a man of my own
I’m too old to be young
And too young to be old
Stand tall! We’re orphans all!
And we’re out on our own
No ma’am! No sir!
We owe you nothing!

What did I ever do?
Did I cry too much for you?
Did I want too much love or
What I gave was it not enough?
I am Times Square on two legs mother and I
I’m going to be somebody
Somebody
Someday
Track Name: American Me
The first words I ever learned were Mommy Daddy then Hungry
I had the poor dumb luck to be the son of someone unlucky poor and dumb
But I knew I was loved yet from a land that didn’t give a damn
Hungry Hands calloused feet I then learned how to say Please

And Daddy said Enough A Father’s sins can’t eclipse his love
Somewhere son there is opportunity
Here I don’t got no name and I got no crown
And it holds me back and it holds me down

American Me

Mommy held me tight as Daddy he crossed first
To where circumstances of birth won’t determine what you’re worth
It’s in your head and hands your heart and your will
He took my ear to his chest and said This is the sound of yearning fulfilled

Do you know what that means son? That red white and blue?
Past land laws and walls for all and not just a few
Here you got no name and you got no crown
But that won’t hold you back or hold you down

American Me

And then one night he woke me and told me to run
There were lights I heard screaming I never saw him again

American Me
Track Name: The Old Piano Roll
Living room the piano rolls
These are good times to talk about when we’re old
Life ain’t easy during Depression Days
It certainly ain’t easy with a family of eight
All week we’re fighting just fighting for life
We’re just living for these Saturday nights
Off in a corner Danny takes a rest
Everyone’s partner cause he’s the oldest

Everything’s gonna be alright
We got a piano to roll all night
Dance little sister and sing little brother
It’ll be alright tonight

Danny’s in the bedroom with his sick Dad
Mom’s downstairs suitcase in hand
Come dear Danny, this is too heavy
Just for a moment you can leave your Daddy
Please Danny boy, Momma’s getting too old
And him, the good boy, did what he was told
She gave him a kiss and said This is earned
She got on a train and never returned
He went back to Daddy to tell him what was done
But the father of the family is now the oldest son

Everything’s gonna be alright
We got a piano to roll all night
Dance little sister and sing littler brother
It’ll be alright tonight

They’ll take us, separate us, oh no!
There’s only thing that can save us, oh no!
Gotta treasure those nights and keep them in your heart

I’ll work all day and I’ll work all night but don’t forget those Saturdays
Or the reasons I’ll be gone and what can be bought’s never here for long

Never let me go

Everything’s gonna be alright
We got a piano to roll all night
Dance little sister and sing littler brother
It’ll be alright tonight
Track Name: Fade Into the Night
The closer we got the more I wanted out but I did it
I did it
I did it
The thrill of the ride as we dropped from the sky
A fear of falling but I called myself brave

All the boys fade into the night
All the girls fade into the night

I became older, my fears became bolder
I can’t believe the ride I’m on now
The rise and the drop
It never stops
I want to get off
But his hands
They’re so small

All the boys fade into the night
All the girls fade into the night

Watching my boy up in the sky
Hold on child
You won’t forget this day
The difference between a boy and a man
Is why you hold on
Is it for you
Or for him?

All the boys fade into the night
All the girls fade into the night

I want to take him and shake him
And tell him that I’m petrified
I don’t know what becomes of life
I don’t know anything at all
But I don’t
So I take his hand in my hand
I say
Be brave
Don’t fade
Into
The Night
Track Name: This House
I was lost and I was down
Seems my whole life I’ve been kicked around
Till I found you

Mistakes
I’ve made so many mistakes
But every twist and turn even them cigarette burns
Led me to you
They led you
To me too

And I
I’ve got nothing to hide
No reason to be ashamed
And I’m through being afraid of anyone’s hate
Cause I
I’ve done nothing wrong
We’ve done nothing wrong
We’ve done nothing
To them

Come on Love

There’s coming a day
It’s on the horizon
I can see it
From our house of love
Track Name: Dodge K Car
Are you driving as fast as you can?
Momma says that you drive so slow
Is that right? I don’t drive so fast?
I drive slow so the world can kiss my ass
It’s so loud at the speed of sound
Hell I got off that merry-go-round
You shout as loud and as fast as you can
But that don’t mean no one can understand

You got all this information
So you presume that you’re not so dumb
Don’t confuse your information
With knowledge and wisdom child
Ain’t a thing on small screens that can replace experiencing
You can’t say
A picture frame
Is the same
As a day
On the Champs-Elysees

Tell me child listen to an old man’s lecture
Why do you take your pictures
And not live in the moment of the image you capture?
You got no control in your little remote control
And so
You got to roll
Got to go
Got to throw
Control
Out the window

Oh my Mommy spends her time
She pretty she one and only
Oh my Daddy spends his time
Brings me pretty placemats

Poor poor me poor pity
A poor mouthed whine
So pretty I’m one and only
Oh my Pappy my only Pa
One two buckle up
My only
Grandpa
Track Name: Choices
She got the keys for the very first time
She called him up
You wanna go for a ride?
This is freedom

He slides close
She thinks this must be love
Is this what I want?
Is it how it’s done?
I don’t know
It feels like freedom

Then she wakes
Turns on a bathroom light
Calls Aunt Emily up
Something just ain’t right

Oh child freedom
Say goodbye to freedom

We’ll get through this but Jesus Christ!
Baby girl did you have a choice that night?
Mom and dad never sat you down?
You didn’t get THE talk?
Can’t talk about it now
Could you have known better?
They should’ve known better
Your friends, your teachers
Now you know
They don’t come
From storks or Jesus

Why are you talking to me?
Why are you talking to me like this?
What’s done is done

Oh no child
It’s just begun

Hush my baby now
We’ll get through this all
Somehow
Track Name: Two Daughters
Oh my girl I knew her so well
What made her smile
Which stories to tell
I know soon
I know that she’ll be
As veiled as
As veiled as the sea
Oh my girl

Oh my girl I knew her so well
What made her smile
Which stories to tell
I know soon
I know that she’ll be
As veiled as
As veiled as the sea
Oh my girl

She’s talking ‘bout walking on the beach got her hand in mind
Our young footsteps
Our steps in time

She said
Girl go girl lying by my pearls
See a flesh sea shell?
It’s spotted black and blue

You know I bought it for you to think of this past
An ocean in your ear
Hear the ocean
Hear the ocean
Go whoosh?

If that shell should ever break
No fuss should you make
Just put your ear
To the lip
Of an empty
Lonely
Highball
Glass
Track Name: Losing My Accent
I think of lullabies when I think of home
A bible and ice cream cones
Sundays we praised you lord
And some team you root for

Remember tucking me to bed?
Fables good and bad
Your wrongs and your rights
You kept ghosts away at night

I remember feeling so much pride
When the world would say we’re alike
But now I don’t know
Oh I hope it’s not so

For every ghost you chased away
You welcomed another to stay
Like an accent I can’t lose
An heirloom compass confused

Now I can’t find my North
I see-saw back and forth
An old man in a rocking chair
Unsure if he’s still there

Oh my home it seems so far away
Oh my home it’s not so far away

Oh my home it seems so far away
Oh my home it’s not so far away
Track Name: Welcome Home
How long has it been since I’ve seen that smile
And hear you sing?
One year? Two years? Who cares
You’re here now

It’s like it was just yesterday
Tell me how have you been?
My brother my here my shadow my friend
Welcome Home
My sister my beautiful my darling my mate
Welcome home

That old Dodge we used to run around in
It’s sitting there rusting out
There ain’t much in this world
Not broken by minutes or miles

Except what we got
Our finest hours in parking lots
And all night on a porch
The water tower chill
Welcome Home
Midnight to six A.M.
Cemetery Hill
Welcome Home

It’s time we go home
Today’s already six hours old
Our high school
Let’s drop by her
It’s on the way
To the Welcome Back Diner

Welcome Home