Tim Browne of the Fort Collins band Elway and Steve Niemoczynski (Steve-O) of the Philadelphia’s The Holy Mess have donned the monikers Soviet Bear and Foul Weathered Friend, respectively, and released a split acoustic EP called Fool’s Gold. Browne’s “Penelope” and his cover of The Holy Mess’s “Soulful Punk Tune” are standouts, as well as Steve-O’s original “North Bound Travel.” Sometimes punks release acoustic material and we all get to say don’t think of it as punk or folk or whatever, it’s just music, and I buy that, but Fool’s Gold is selling something different. It’s asking you to ask how long or short the bridge between electric punk and acoustic punk is; to make comparisons between an acoustic song by Joe Strummer or Blake Schwarzenbach and an acoustic song by Tim Barry or Chuck Ragan more textured; to accept that Punk has always been about more than the music and then to question how much Music needs Punk. At least it makes me want to ask you that. I think they’re both still dependent on each other. Fool’s Gold inhabits a space in-between a lot of over-defined genres, near Joey Cape territory, and it’ll do you good to re-define them with this album in mind.

Fool’s Gold is available from always-free Death To False Hope Records–find it here. It’s Free! And it’s not as pretentious as I made it sound.

Delusions, the album by Tim Browne’s primary project, Elway, made my Top 2011 list. I also interviewed Comrade Bear recently, so look out for that post.

The Soviet Bear – Penelope
The Soviet Bear – Soulful Punk Tune

Foul Weathered Friend – North Bound Travel

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.