As musical trends come and go, The Hangmen have remained uncompromising since their formation in 1986. From big money major label deals to debilitating drug addiction, lead singer Bryan Small has continued to charge forward with the headlong momentum of a runaway train.
Bridging the gap somewhere between The Gun Club and the Rolling Stones, the band’s latest offering, Stories To Tell smashes together Small’s lurid love songs with unsparing, unsentimental blasts that shine a penetrating light into the dark and seedy corners of life. From the melodic “Midnight Riders” to the haunting “On The Outside,” Small delivers an album with a simplicity and depth of songwriting reminiscent of Neil Young and Tom Petty.
“Midnight Riders is a rite of passage song. It’s the way my friends and I lived in our early days navigating life, being in bands and coping with everything as kids in Hollywood. We didn’t have boundaries. We had mentors who were notoriously fucked up geniuses in our eyes. I’m not surprised by the path we took for ourselves – some made it, some moved home and some died.”
Check out the track Midnight Riders, below:
Small himself recently relocated after 38 years in Los Angeles to his hometown of Missoula, Montana, so his kids could grow up around family.
“We recorded in different studios over the course of about a year and a half, which is the way some of my favorite albums were made,” reveals Small, “This is the first record since Mike Ness (Social Distortion) produced In The City that I’ve kinda let go of the production and mixing to get a different view of these songs.”
Longtime Hangmen fan Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith, Beck, X) also stepped in to produce two tracks on Stories: “On The Outside” and “Last Time I Saw You,” a tribute to “Rontrose” Heathman, the former Hangmen and Supersuckers guitar player who passed away in 2020.
Stories To Tell also includes a raucous cover of Credence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Sinister Purpose.’
“CCR has always been a part of The Hangmen’s DNA to some extent. It was a bit of an overlooked song that spoke to us. Jimmy James (guitarist) brought it to the band and it was a natural fit.”
‘Stories To Tell’ is out now on Acetate Records purchase the album here.