Album Review: Dave Hause - Bury Me In Philly

Words by Daniel Rourke

There’s occasionally a singer that comes along and embodies the underdog spirit, they’ll pour their heart out on record and take to the stage each night like it’s the last scarp of their life, as if they know that this time tomorrow they’ll be back to pulling pints for all the other kids who just didn’t quite make it.

Former Paint It Black and The Loved Ones man Dave Hause encapsulates that underdog spirit perfectly. His raw and raucous songs lend themselves perfectly to his Joe Strummer like live shows.

Hause took his scene by storm in 2013 with the release of second solo record - and Rise Records debut – 'Devour', as the gritty punk toting an acoustic guitar and something to say, had transformed himself into one of the modern punk/Americana greats.

Following the success of 'Devour', Hause is looking to pick up where he left off with his third solo record, 'Bury Me In Philly'. The cacophonous album opener With You does little to suggest that Hause is settling on the foundations that 'Devour' built, as he declares: “I want these next thirty minutes to feel like a fucking crime.

As the brash opener fades, The Flinch sees Philly’s finest delve into a more Americana tinged sound before My Mistake makes you question whether you’re listening to Hause or The Hold Steady. Whilst there’s no bad tracks to this point, it’s in My Mistake where everything begins to click, it’s Hause at his best as his seize the moment mentality shines through.

If there’s one thing that hits home throughout the opening three tracks, it’s the diversity in sound. It isn’t an experimental record, but every track sounds and feels different from the other. The Mermaid is perhaps one of the most striking tracks on the record in terms of sound, it’s different from anything we’ve heard from the veteran singer.

With the album in full swing, Shaky Jesus and Divine Lorraine set a familiar tone for anyone who’s spent time with Hause’s debut, 'Resolutions'. Whereas Dirty Fucker – a track dedicated to the farcical Donald Trump on his inauguration day by the singer – allows Hause’s punk angst to shine through,  and a more Rock ‘n’ Roll sound to develop.

'Bury Me In Philly' is nothing more than a showcase of the talent Hause is soaked in. The Ride proves to be one of the standout moments on the record. Once again, it’s a change in sound and pace, and it serves the album so well. Lyrically it’s spot on, as tales of disregarding the consequences of your actions are met by the odd reference to Hause’s side project, The Allbrights. The track also bleeds perfectly into the harmonica-based opening of the infectious Helluva Home.

Whilst there isn’t a dull moment on 'Bury Me In Philly', it’s the back half of the album that leaves an impression, every track is different, whilst somehow managing to keep the signature Dave Hause grit. Wild Love sees a return to the downtrodden nature of Devour, before title track 'Bury Me In Philly' draws an end to proceedings perfectly.

Legendary Alkaline Trio and Blink-182 frontman Matt Skiba claimed Hause as: “Such an incredible artist”, and it’s clear to see why with 'Bury Me In Philly'. There’s a dogged determination in everything he does, there’s something that draws you to his tales whether they’re being told through heartfelt Americana, foot-tapping Rock ‘n’ Roll or devastating acoustic numbers.