Such ruminations mark All Our Heroes Live in Vans, the new album from Nashville’s Todd Farrell, Jr. & the Dirty Birds. The album’s nine songs comprise a set of love letters penned to youth, human connection, baseball and rock and roll. Each being a possible savior at some point or another in one’s life.
Having aged beyond childhood years filled with big league dreams (“Bobby & Chipper”) to one “past the age of being disappointed that you didn’t make it to the party” (“Year in Review”) where selling said guitar is a consideration, dreams must be weighed against responsibility, when the transient life of the album’s title is no longer a career option.
Self-realization takes a back seat when recounting moments that filled the gaps between life’s transitions. From the air guitar kiss off of “Plastic Knives” to the punk lashing of “Better Men,” Todd Farrell, Jr. & the Dirty Birds veer from wall of sound guitars to acoustic numbers, segueing from It’s a Wonderful Life references (“If It’s Alright By You”) to the all-or-nothing proposition of “Take it Slow.” After all, what does one have to lose by not trying? Succeed or fail, “relief in Mother’s arms” (“Pawnshops) awaits.
But I don’t need to find my place
In those songs they wrote
I just want to find my way
Into your liner notes
A no-frills rock record, All Our Heroes Live in Vans looks forward in every regard, stopping only to assess the moments and people that brought us to this time. Be they friends, lovers, baseball teams or bands, the mark they make on us is indelible. We can only hope they can say the same about us. All Our Heroes Live in Vans certainly does just that.
Stream and purchase All Our Heroes Live in Vans below.