Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Matt Oliver
It seems that the people in Band of Heathens songs aren't heathens. It's doubtful that the men who wrote and play the songs are heathens either, but more like the people who are in their songs. They are the kinds of people who are easy to please when a drink is offered. They can be asked, "Can I get you something to drink?" to which they'll reply, "I'll just take a beer. Whatever's coldest or whatever you've got." It means that they don't care if it's good or if it's warm. If it's a beer it will do. It's the bigger things that cause them to get worked up, but never anything that could turn them into someone you'd call a heathen.
They seem to be God-fearing, or at least people with a sense to keep it all as a consideration. They might find themselves in vulnerable places, in their weaker moments, but they are altogether sure of what's in their hearts. There's a hope in them that they can enjoy happiness, mostly, but there's an understanding that it's so easy to hope. They sound as if they're church-going and they wish upon the stars for an easier life, one that doesn't require so much back-breaking labor and rewards with more bountiful meals for more and better and warmer love.
The Band of Heathens offer roots rock that introduces us to medicine men and the kinds of allusions to holistic solutions to clouded visions and sinful/unlucky lifestyles. They sound mostly like they're here to help, that they're going to provide you with the cleansing mechanisms to bring you back from whatever it is that is ailing you. They don't want to see you taken by the demons that you've left the door cracked open for. They sing, "I'll take your pulse/I'll fix your health/Give what you need/To save yourself/Might lose your house/Might lose your home/But I'll give you back more than you have you have known/Put you in the black," on "Medicine Man," and it comes with a musical arrangement that makes it feel as if we're still thick in the voodoo soup. The spell is going to take a little effort to figure out, to break. There are a few ways most scenarios can go, and it's simple for the heathens or the non-heathens, "You might fall in love tonight/Or you might fall from grace."