Bury Me In PhillyRise Records
By Cole Faulkner
Philadelphia soloist Dave Hause has made quite a name for himself since the release of his sophomore LP, Devour. While his prior work in The Loved Ones exuded youthful energy reflective of a younger state, the sensitive punk-rocker’s solo personae communicates a far more complex state. Spoken from the vantagepoint of a musician making sense of life in his mid-thirties identity, Devour marked a melancholy introspection.
Over three years have passed, and Dave’s chronology now positions him closer to forty. While approaching such a milestone may have caused some musicians may have plunged further into a dark place (such as the gloomy lyrical content of the late Tony Sly), Hause’s latest effort, Bury Me In Philly, seemingly resolves many of those past hesitancies. Just the musical atmosphere alone frames the eleven song disc with far more optimism. When considering the lyrics, the album points to a place of personal embrace and acceptance.
Opener “With You” sets a tone of living in the moment and embracing one’s present circumstance. While somewhat of a traditional tale of affections from afar, the piano-laced tune seeks strength in companionship when readying for the road ahead. While Devour constantly glanced back to an increasingly fading past, Bury Me In Philly never looks in the rearview. “I don’t wanna look back now, regret is like living 3 feet down, it keeps you on your knees,” sings Hause a song later on “The Flinch,” boldly confirming his liberation in a stress-free, sing-along chorus unlike anything in Hause’s prior repertoire. Such an open disposition finds Hause tilling fertile ground in strong, southern guitar-heavy rock flavoured efforts like “The Mermaid.” But perhaps more surprising, is how much catchier Hause sounds from his Loved Ones days. He’s never hesitates to breakout into pure singable melody, backed by buoyant piano keys and lively riffs. Whether embracing country twang circa “Divine Lorraine,” or pushing out alt-rock chorus highlights in “Shaky Jesus,” Hause gets it right time and time again.
As outlined by “Helluva Home’s” wholehearted embrace, Bury Me In Philly is a celebration of self and community. With what could only be a healthy smirk shining through his heartfelt lyrics, Hause rhetorically questions, “where else would I go, it’s all I know,” to which he simply answers, “it’s a helluva home.” Dave Hause is every bit as unique and full of character as his home city; he’s a one of a kind singer-songwriter with a deep passion for his craft. Once again, Hause proves a champion of a poetic, blue-collar, working class charm that’s so simple, yet so full of heart.