Dropping a new album on New Year’s Eve can be perceived a few different ways. It could be of a band wanting to end the year on a proud high note, offering up the result of many months of productivity and hard work before attention shifts to the future. Or it could be an effort to get a jump on the year ahead, providing a soundtrack to the let-down of New Year’s Eve but fulfilling the hope and promise brought by the turn of the calendar. Or it could just be the band not really giving a fuck; when the album is ready, it’s ready, and the deadline for those year-end “Best Of” lists can go stick its head up further up its own ass.
Art Thieves likely fall into that third category, as the Quincy band release their debut LP, the adequately titled For Free, on December 31. The DGAF attitude is an extension of Art Thieves’ previous bands (Dirty Water, The Glow, Foam ’N’ Mesh, Brando), and the DIY ethic is evident: They recorded the album themselves, and it’ll be available for everyone’s don’t-cost-a-thing downloading pleasures come Thursday.
Before the gimmie-gates fly open, Vanyaland is excited to premiere the album’s standout track, “Dear Leader”, an anti-authority anarcho-blues swinger that’s giving us some nice flashbacks of the days when organs glowed bright in the night and Morphine purred on everyone’s playlists.
The song “is about exposing the absurdity of the abuse of authority that can exist in the workplace,” says Art Thieves’ Andrew Mauriello. “It’s about when you realize your boss is the same guy (albeit in different form) who called you a freak in high school. Someone who makes money by instilling fear in others rather than empowering people with support and encouragement. People who demand respect rather than earning it have no business leading people.”
Sounds a lot like those who go out on New Year’s Eve.
Listen to “Dear Leader” below, and look ahead to 2k16 with the For Free record release party, February 13 at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston with Brooklyn’s Warn the Duke, recent Rumblers The Warning Shots, and new-ish post-hardcore band You Scoundrel, featuring members of Taxi Driver and The Old Edison.