Shockwave Magazine review of “Head Bent”

After spending time back in the studio, The Cold Stares have come out swinging with their sophomore LP Head Bent. From the time the kick hits during “John,” to the more laid back “Break My Fall,” the energy doesn’t fade. I found myself bobbing my head at my desk, more often than usual. -Ryan Dekkinga

The Cold Stares “Head Bent” review by Shockwave Magazine

Sentinel Daily – Australia – “Head Bent” review

Again, another very humbling, humorous, and great honest review from the Sentinel Daily in Australia on Head Bent. We will take any of those comparisons. I couldn’t carry Paul Rodgers groceries, but I’m the biggest FREE fan in the world, so I’ll take it. We love all of our Australian fans and hope to see you next year! CT
Sentinel Daily AU

The story behind “Break My Fall”

The story behind “Break My Fall”……

We had been working in the studio the last week of the Head Bent sessions and wrapped up mixing “One Way Outta Here”. We were talking about getting together to celebrate finishing when Brian asked how many minutes total we had. When we added it up, we saw we were three minutes short of the record label’s requirements. We just kinda sat there with Greg Pearce, our engineer trying to figure out how we miscalculated. We looked back through some of the demos, but we were really out of time, we talked about a few options, but none of it made sense. The one thing we had on every other CS release prior was some sort of acoustic piece. I told the guys I would just go home and write something, and bring it in the next day to cut acoustically solo. Luckily they trusted me, and we just decided to go that route. I sat down with my national that night late when I got home, shut the world out of my head, and open my mind to a dusty western frontier, and “Break My Fall” spilled out within about 3-5 minutes. I came into the studio the next day, sat down in front of mic, dimmed the lights, and sang it with the emotion I felt the character in my story felt. I could relate in ways to his plight, and poured myself into his shoes and became him for the 10 minutes we recorded it. I was happy to have it on the album, personally loved the emotion of the track, and the guys commented on the songs lyrics, but we never thought that much about it- since the rest of the album was so big and heavy.

Our album released June 16th, and #Spotify chose “Break My Fall” to add to their “Acoustic Blues” playlist. Which means out of hundreds of thousands of songs, “Break My Fall” was one of 54 songs they thought was cool enough for the playlist. Other artists in the playlist include Stevie Ray Vaughan, Derek Trucks, and my hero Robert Johnson. The playlist has over 300,000 followers, and immediately it launched the song. As of this evening the track had about 20,000 plays, all since June 16th, and has been growing around 2,000 plays a day. It’s brought attention to the album and the band we didn’t expect, but it’s funny how things work. The song that wasn’t supposed to be on the album, and that was written so quickly and easily becomes the cornerstone for what probably will launch this album. We are very blessed, and I’m thankful that the song is one that gives me chills every time I get to that third verse. There are two vocal influences towards the end of the song, one a reference to one of my musical hero’s with the choice of phrasing on “Hangman”, and a nod in that line to one of my favorite films where that character says, “Hollis, Hollis…take these men to…..” well, the inflection in her voice was haunting to me, and I’ve been to the place where Hollis took those men in Mississippi. If you know the film, you know where I mean.

The story of the song is, a stranger walks into a frontier western town, late 1800’s. Long string of misfortunes and he just wants to start over. He’s been there a few weeks when he hears talk around town the a local girl had gone missing. She had been seen with the stranger having a drink at some point, and he was arrested to be questioned. After being beaten for a few days, he is tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. It’s 118 degrees, he’s standing at the gallows as they place the bag over his head. They tighten the noose around his neck, he pleads with the hangman for mercy, and just as the hangman pulls the lever, and the floor beneath him drops, the girl in question comes running up through the crowd, screaming “I’m alive”, just finding out that the man is being hung for her alleged death. She had been hiding with an outlaw out of town unaware of what had happened. That moment, the 6 feet of drop right before the rope snaps his neck, when the last thing he hears is her voice, the one thing that could bring him redemption, is what the song is really about. It is a parallel for so many things in our lives that we hold out hope for, pray for, that never come, or come to late. Bittersweet, but it is the story of life and death. All our character wants is something soft under him, someone to catch him to keep the rope from snapping his neck and taking his innocent life-
CT

Break My Fall
Town folks gather round as they tighten the noose on my neck
Preacher says son is there anything you like to say?
Loosen your tongue, son tell us all your last request
I whispered to his ear, the last breath I held in my chest
Hangman please let me down easy
Jesus hear my beck and call
If I’m a sinner, then lord please forgive me
And let something soft break my fall
Said I killed the daughter of a man, and no one took my bond
And I although I loved her, I’d never wished her any harm
They never found her body, but they beat me to tell where she lay
But I was not the one, who’d taken and led her astray
So hangman please let me down easy
Jesus hear my beckon call
If I’m a sinner, then lord please forgive me
And let something soft break my fall
Crowd grew still as he placed the bag over my head
And the rope was pulled tight, just moments until I would be dead….
When I heard the voice of a girl who screamed I’m alive!
The sweetest sound to my ears on the day that I died.
Hangman please let me down easy
Jesus hear my beckon call
If I’m a sinner, then lord please forgive me
Let something soft please break my fall