Song Premiere: Wormburner, “Restless Nation”

From Brooklyn via Hoboken, Wormburner convey an attitude that comes off as callous and unyielding.  It’s not hard to understand why this testament is dropped on the band; the library consisting of three LPs along with a trickle of singles and EPs offer up thunderous indie/punk rock hymns with vocal delivery eerily reminiscent of John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.  Wormburner is the band that you catch live within the city’s dankest club and lose all ambition.

Today, Wormburner have dropped their latest single “Restless Nation.”  Lead vocalist Hank Henry and company exudes a restrained coarse of action throughout their narrative anthem for these troubled times.  Henry dives in more into the song here: “This song and its main lyric were conceived in the late Spring, when pandemic lockdown fatigue was weighing heavily on all of us. It was clear that parts of the country were headed in different directions.  Some were ignoring the warnings.  Others, having lived through hell, maybe didn’t consider continued physical distancing to be an especially great sacrifice.  Wrestling with some initial ideas for the lyrics, it was at that moment that the entire country witnessed the killing of George Floyd.  So by summertime the whole story shifted from unrest over the lockdowns to unrest over racial injustice.  And the fight that emerged wasn’t ‘bound by color, class or creed’.”  Now here we are in the Fall, and we’re faced with a presidential election where the nation could not be more divided.  ‘Restless’ is an understatement.”  “Restless Nation” will be available on all streaming platforms tomorrow.

Wormburner has shared stages with Violent Femmes, Old 97s, The Walkmen, Deer Tick, The War on Drugs, Dean & Britta, School of Seven Bells, the late, great Tommy Keene, Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom, Cracker, and Camper van Beethoven (David Lowery produced Wormburner’s debut album). Legendary VJ Matt Pinfield hosted Henry for an in-depth interview on MTV’s 120 Minutes.

Wormburner’s third LP (titled Pleasant Living in Planned Communities) was included on Robert Christgau’s “Dean’s List” ranking the best releases of 2014.  That album’s cast of desperate characters includes a downed airman in WWII Europe, a 21st Century soldier returning home from battle, and a transient gay hustler whose youthful looks are weathering with age.  Recorded in too many places to name here, Pleasant Living in Planned Communities bristles with a heightened urgency not captured on previous Wormburner recordings.  Yet somehow this whole album goes down smoother, the executions tighter, and the performances elevated courtesy of guest appearances by ace guitarists Sean Eden (Luna) and Paul Carbonara (Blondie).