Monday, July 30, 2012

Jason Cruz & Howl releases debut EP

Americana/Folk/Alt-Country quartet JASON CRUZ AND HOWL is releasing its debut EP LoungeCore on Friday July 27, 2012 via Echotone Records. “I released this on my own label because I’ve been doing this long enough to understand the business,” comments the Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz about his decision to go DIY for his first solo outing. “This is 2012 and ANYTHING is possible in this sometimes upside down business. The young naïve musician has to grow up and go away. Why not take control and do things your own way? If you use your imagination and be patient and hard working, there are no limits.”

A departure from the punk sensibilities that his other band Strung Out embraces, LoungeCore thrusts Cruz into a more organic and Americana-based unit. “Why start another band that sounds the same as what you’re already doing,” he explains. “Strung Out has fulfilled a big part of me, but at the same time left a big creative void. With this project both bands will now be stronger. Anyone that knows anything about me knows I’m always going to push for the path less traveled and that to me is what makes both bands unique.”

Filled with songs that harken dusty spaghetti westerns (“Blue Jesus”), outlaw punk ("When They Finally Get Me”) and driving Americana (“The Lonesome Grave of Celia Browne”), LoungeCore is a whole different side of Cruz. “This record is going to trip people out because it doesn’t sound like anything people would expect from me, so in a way it’s kind of an outlaw record”, laughs Cruz. “When I say that Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, or George Jones fueled the last Strung Out album, this all makes sense. Expanding your musical scope can only strengthen the integrity of your foundation and keep you original.”

Recognizing the strength and honesty of this EP, American Songwriter premiered the opening track “Blue Jesus”, which can be heard here:

In celebration of release day, RCRD_LBL is featuring the song about Charles Manson’s trippy hangout spot “Spahn Ranch” as a free download which can be downloaded here:

“Along with myself, everyone in the band has come from a punk background,” says Cruz about his backing band Howl. “We all have very artistic sensibilities and believe in pushing boundaries. Jason Cruz And Howl features lead vocalist Jason Cruz of Strung Out (guitar, vocals), Buddy Darling of The Darlings (guitar, vocals), Chris Stein of Saccharine Trust (bass), and Nick DiBiasi of Neo Geo (drums). The band is currently planning a Fall tour.

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