The Homeless Gospel Choir, This Land Is Your Landfill
The Homeless Gospel Choir, once just the mouthpiece for Pittsburgh protest writer Derek Zanetti, has become a communal affair. His new album This Land Is Your Landfill is fleshed out to the max, the dream team now including Matt Miller (Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, Wingnut Dishwashers Union), Maura Weaver (Mixtapes, Ogikubo Station), Megan Schroer (Boys, Kitty Kat Fan Club), and Craig Luckman (Small Pollen, Belly Boys) and with Anti-Flag’s Chris #2 on board as a producer. It’s not just the star-studded cast that makes the record feel so huge – every song will have you itching to sing along, so much that TLIYL feels like all THGC fans are truly part of it.
The community of the record is evident on every single track, upbeat or chilled out, angry or optimistic. Gang vocals abound, and lyrical gems that are just begging to be shouted out loud are generously scattered throughout – joyful opener Global Warming’s “Donald Trump thinks global warming was made up by the Chinese” highlights the ludicrousness of the sentiment, and Zanetti keeps the energy up right until the album’s end. Punk As Fuck truly feels like our song, a glorious ode to the punk community. “We’ll die young at heart and we’ll die punk as fucking fuck” is truly a motto to live by (and the raucous drum and trumpet section that follows is gold too).
Having assembled his dream team, Zanetti doesn’t hesitate to let loose, bringing every brand of loud there is to TLIYL. You Never Know opens with a meandering, Parisian accordion – the dreamy, idyllic sound is jammed around lyrics about oil spills, police brutality, and panic attacks. Figure It Out harks back to THGC’s one-man-band days, with a heartwarmingly simply guitar/vocals texture that captures the same energy as the rest of the huge tracks on the album. TLIYL covers every musical base you could possibly hope to hear, and doesn’t falter for a second.
This Land Is Your Landfill is a vicious protest record; Zanetti’s lyricism is on-the-nose, unflinchingly vehement, and plain fed up with the plethora of outrage there is left to be felt. But at the same time, it’s violently hopeful. Every song, the angry, the melancholy, or the upbeat, demands that we keep our optimism, because that’s the most powerful weapon we have. And with a soundtrack as unabatedly inspiring as This Land Is Your Landfill, we’ll have a much easier job of it.
This Land Is Your Landfill is out today.