Everyone's favorite Boston metalcore singer turned Tom Petty-ish roots-rock heartthrob, dreamy ol' Jake Brennan, has put the wraps on his new record and will be playing a bunch of it during some sweet-ass opening gigs this weekend: tonight at the Paradise opening for Soul Asylum (we've forgiven those dudes for what happened after "Runaway Train," but that doesn't mean you have to), tomorrow at Ralph's Diner out in Worcester opening for Walter Schreifels, who is playing a solo show immediately following the Gorilla Biscuits reunion (holy shit!) that night at the Palladium. Both are conceptually perfect for attracting new Brennan converts: you assume both shows will attract grownup hardcore fans who aren't afraid of songs, and neo-Americana fuckups who aren't afraid of punk rock. Of the new stuff, Jake says, "It sounds unlike anything I've ever done. Very weird." Everyone says that, but we give the new Jake shit two enormous thumbs up -- his debut got waylaid in clean, showbandy stuff that felt like the kind of stuff you make when you're 40. The new songs are the raw-ass rocknroll shit he sounded like before Nashville got ahold of him. You can check it out at his MySpace page.
In addition to a bunch of new material -- you can hear some of it now at Brennan's MySpace page, though we wish he'd post up the song where X's John Doe stops by for guest-vocals -- Jake says he's dusting off an oldie but goodie from his days in Cast Iron Hike, his '90s post-hardcore band back when Victory didn't suck. We fucking loved that band, and anyone who was a fan of Schreifels' band Quicksand should check out CIH's newish MySpace page for the history. When we got Brennan's mass-email saying he'd reworked old Cast Iron songs in the manner of Bo Diddley, we thought he was just making random shit up to get people out to the gigs and called bullshit. But he says he's dead serious, and that he's got an arrangement of "Boxed" that's "all tremolo-y like Bo. It lends itself to that style." Crayyyyy-zee, duder.
DOWNLOAD: Cast Iron Hike, "Boxed" (mp3, via Myspace)DOWNLOAD: Jake Brennan, "What Joe Strummer Said" (mp3, via MySpace)