In British slang, a "suedehead" is a traditional skinhead—working class, rather than racist—who's grown out of that fashion to let his hair grow (relatively) long. It's someone for whom the triumphs and follies of youth, its ideals and its thrills, may have passed, but for whom the memories live on.
So it's a fitting name for the musical project of California-based, Birmingham, U.K.-bred singer/guitarist Davey Warsop. Not only do Suedehead nod back to the skinhead scenes of '60s and '70s Britain—channeling along the way an angry young Elvis Costello by way of contemporary mod revivalists Ted Leo and the Pharmacists—but songs like "Small Town Hero," and its stylish video, revel in the blue collar concerns and wide-eyed romantic ideals of a bygone youth.
Backed by members of SoCal bands Hepcat and The Aggrolites, Suedehead mix ska, soul, punk and a vintage brand of American rock 'n' roll into a familiar but affecting sound. (That Suedehead got their break working with Social Distortion's Mike Ness makes sense; they read very much like a British version of that band's broad punk nostalgia.) Organs and horns flare, but it's the band's sturdy guitar riffs and Warsop's raspy, emotive voice that give songs like "Small Town Hero" their appeal. Watch the video and grab the track for free right here. – Eric Grandy, Google Music
Sorry, but this promotion has expired. Check Magnifier regularly for more free music.