Having carved a niche writing punked-up heartland American rock for nearly twenty years, Dave Hause can be relied upon to put out a solid record every few years. Having brought his younger brother Tim into the songwriting fold, ‘Kick’ is rooted in family, daily struggles and survival in a world of warp-speed change and crippling uncertainty.
Like his heroes Springsteen and Bob Dylan, Hause writes songs about ordinary people dealing with the fact that the United States government isn’t very sound. Rather than try to polarise or preach, Hause roots his songs in blue-collar sentiment and aims for big choruses rather than tirades.
Single ‘The Ditch’ finds Dave and Tim confronting depression head on and learning to accept oneself with a rallying message that “If I can’t make out of this ditch, I’d better make a home of it.” That idea of survival and humanity runs throughout the album, along with the Hause brother’s new sense of combined purpose.
‘Warpaint’ examines the dangerous precedent set by having a self-confessed sex offender in the White House, with female backing vocalists echoing Hause’s call of “No mercy in a man’s world”. ‘Saboteurs’ rails against the profits-over-people ideology that’s failing his fellow Americans, while ‘Civil Lies’ echoes Bon Jovi with its swaggering riff.
An album of hope and resistance, his songwriting has the well-worn familiarity of a comfortable pair of shoes, but there’s enough energy and anger on show to ensure ‘Kick’ is a worthwhile addition to Hause’s canon.