Inherited Darkness

by Glenn Yoder & The Western States

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about

"Inherited Darkness" is Glenn Yoder & The Western States' darkest, most personal album to date. Over bare-bones production that often swells into a beautiful mess of noise, the songwriter opens up about the sometimes crushing weight those closest to you can carry -- and the toll that absorbing that weight can take upon a person. It's a landmark album for the group, the culmination of years of carefully crafting a captivating live show then trying to harness that energy and emotion into a 10-song recording.

In praise of "Inherited Darkness," Americana UK wrote that Yoder "cultivates a direct, no bullshit style of songwriting which inclines the head to the Tom Petty school of Heartbreakers as much as anyone. There’s a comforting aura of whiskey-soaked sorrow jostling for position with foot stomping rug cutters. ... Whatever ‘it’ is, Glenn Yoder & The Western States have got it." Red Line Roots said it's a "'blue record' in many respects that explores much of the emotion of humans in a way that leaves itself open to self-reflection and pensive introspection ... But the variety of sonic exploration and a truly live and raw feel only further adds to the views and words expressed on the record." In a four-star review, Alt Country NL called the album, "moody rock, with an Americana surface."

Yoder spent five years as the co-frontman of the raucous collective known as Cassavettes -- sharing bills with the Allman Brothers, Kings of Leon, Dr. Dog and others -- before heading into the wild with the 2009 solo record "Okono Road." Upon its release, one publication noted that "Yoder pays homage ... to the great American song," while other writers were quick to label Yoder a "young Paul Westerberg," drawing comparisons to Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Ryan Adams and the Lemonheads.

By 2013, Yoder had assembled his top-notch band, The Western States, and the group released its first proper album under that band name, the critically acclaimed "Javelina." Eargazms called it "one of the finest alt-country albums of 2013," adding "this creepy backwoods beast of a record is full of huge pop hooks and muscular Drive-By Truckers-style rock." The Boston Globe and Patriot Ledger praised Yoder's skill for songcraft, while the Phoenix named "Javelina" one of "10 records that will set the tone in 2013." Playing in support of that album, Glenn Yoder & The Western States shared stages with the Old 97s, Shooter Jennings, the Mavericks and more, and were finalists in Boston's famed Rock N Roll Rumble.

Two years later, the band released the raw "Blood Red Moon," an album that was primarily cut live, all the musicians together in one room. In praise of the record, No Depression wrote "Glenn Yoder is the king of catchy," while another reviewer said the album "pairs well with barbecue ribs and a tall lemonade, or a bourbon on the rocks." The album drew immediate comparisons to Tom Petty and Yoder's idol, Neil Young. The band spent the early part of 2016 playing dates along the East Coast in support of "Blood Red Moon."

With the release of "Inherited Darkness," Glenn Yoder & The Western States now takes the next step forward. They like to say the album sounds a bit like Band of Horses, Jason Isbell and Dawes teamed up to cover Wilco -- only if Wilco had spent its career aspiring to write ZZ Top's "Tres Hombres." There's only one way to find out.

credits

released May 2, 2017

Produced by Jeremy Moses Curtis
Recorded by Dave Westner at Armory Sound, Somerville, Mass., July 2016
Additional recording October 2016
Mastered by Alex McCullough at True East Mastering, Nashville, Tenn., January 2017
All songs written by Glenn Yoder
Cover design by Rachel Orr
Cover photograph by Oscar Keys
Copyright © 2017 Vegas Zombie Music Publishing Co. (ASCAP)

The Western States:
-Glenn Yoder: Vocals, guitar, harmonica
-Jeff Katz: Lead guitar, back-up vocals
-Chris Anzalone: Drums, percussion
-Brooks Milgate: Piano, keyboards, accordion, back-up vocals
-Jeremy Moses Curtis: Bass guitar, back-up vocals

Additional musicians:
Ruth Anzalone: Back-up vocals (track 4)
Isa Burke: Back-up vocals (track 4)

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"Glenn Yoder is the king of catchy."
- No Depression

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Track Name: Optimist
What's a man like me doing in a place like this?
Where you get so low it's like you don't exist
Here I don't belong, I'm an optimist
But she brought me down to the depths of feeling like I won't be missed

And I loved her so, so what does she care?
Now I need to go find somewhere safer 'cause I can't sleep here

There's nowhere to go where I'll be alright
There's only one way out where I won't see that image every goddamn night

What's a man like me doing in a place like this?
Here I don't belong, I'm an optimist
What's a man like me doing in a place like this?
Here I don't belong
Where you get so low it's like you don't exist
Where you get to feeling like you won't be missed
Where I don't belong, I'm an optimist.
Track Name: She's Broken
Be the man I hope to be
She'll still assume the worst of me
She's broken and I don't know just how far
Try to make her heart feel free
Nothing here comes easily
She's broken and I know I'll get some scars

Maybe she needs me to be something
Something that I can never be
But I can only try so hard for her
But I can only try so hard for her

She's a storm over the sea
Calm one moment then angry
She's broken and leading to nowhere
Don't know what she wants from me
I'd die to give her what she needs
She's broken and it feels beyond repair

Maybe she needs me to be something
Something that I can never be
But I can only try so hard for her
Yeah, I can only try so hard for her
But I can only try so hard for her

Maybe she needs me to be something
Something that I can never be
But I can only try so hard for her
But I can only try so hard for her
Yeah, I can only try so hard for her
But I can only try so hard for her.
Track Name: Dark Side
I don't recognize the man who stands before me anymore
His eyes are hiding anger and in truth he's looking old
He's got wrinkles 'round those eyes from laughter heard so long ago
Barely clinging to his youth outside the way he wears his clothes

For the first time in my life I don't trust myself alone
I'm good until the darkness drifts in to take hold
I used to be so different, wish I'd be the man you know
Guess he died that night I found her curled up on the floor
She was just a mess of tears and anger at no one
It's frightening to feel so helpless, nothing could be done
Months went by and tears did dry but still something was wrong
'Til I finally solved that mystery of what was gnawing at her soul

Well, I tried to put together the things that fell apart
There ain't a special way to fix her angry, jealous heart
She just needs time, I guess, to find something to fill this hole
Hidden on the dark side of the soul

Well, I gave her all I could until I really had no more
Think I absorbed that darkness hiding deep inside of her
Stole years off my life but still I remained in her pull
That gravity will eat you up, if she doesn't first
Still see her every night when she comes calling in my sleep
Hovers right above me in the comfort of a dream
She puts nickels on my eyes but I still feel her breathing deep
So I lay there so still and hope she doesn't know it's me

Well, I tried to put together the things that fell apart
There ain't a special way to fix her angry, jealous heart
She just needs time, I guess, to find something to fill this hole
Hidden on the dark side of the soul

I don't recognize the man who stands before me anymore
Think I absorbed that darkness hiding deep inside of her.
Track Name: I Don't Want to Love You Anymore
Thought I'd have more figured out now
Much too old for these silly games
We only get along well when we're drinking
So we drink a lot these days
I know you're no good for my health
Gotta take better care of myself

And I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore

Sometimes I do things that I shouldn't
Sometimes I repeat the same mistakes
Try to let go and drift with the current
Always end up in this same place
Try to start something with somebody else
Just to keep you from coming around

And I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
'Cause you don't love me, no matter what you say

Every time that I'm doing better
She shows up and I just let her

And I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
I don't want to love you anymore
'Cause you don't love me, no matter what you say
No, you don't love me, you don't love me.
Track Name: Drive West
Sometimes it feels good just to be alone
Turn off my mind, I turn off my phone
Drive west to nowhere on an endless road
Sometimes it feels good just to be alone

Let my mind meander from thought to thought
Some good, some bad, some not too smart
Sometimes I think about how she broke my heart
Then I let my mind drift to the next thought

Haven't seen a soul since I don't know when
This old radio is my only friend
Still talks too much for a companion
But this radio is my only friend

When I was younger I would go for a drive over hot black roads under big Texas sky

Where I'll end up God only knows
But I must trust these endless roads
There ain't no comfort left back home
Sometimes it feels good just to be alone

When I was younger I would go for a drive over hot black roads under big Texas sky
When I was younger I would go for a drive over hot black roads under big Texas sky.
Track Name: Kill Devil Hills
I drank her love in like a liquor, like I could never get my fill
It went down smooth but made me sicker with every ounce I'd madly swill
I let that love start to consume me, and I confess I felt a thrill
Convinced myself it was the real thing, so I swallowed the hurt down like a pill

Drank myself blind with that creature, the one who stuck me with her quills
Fall to the floor and watch the sea churn, foam at its mouth began to build
She cheats my heart and breaks it open, stomps whatever life's there still
Punctures my ego with her sharp words, then moves away to find herself

I feel like doing something drastic, something to make this heartache yield
Quit my job and just play music, see if I can get fulfilled
I should move out somewhere random with a name like something from a film
But pain can travel to Broken Arrow, no mercy in Kill Devil Hills.
Track Name: Don't Get to Choose
She's crying, and I'm not even sure why anymore
She's empty, seeking something to fill up her soul
Said she don't want to be remembered for the bad shit that she do
But she don't get to choose

She hurt me, hurt me as bad as she could
Now she's lying, saying she loves only me still
Said she don't want to be remembered for what she put me through
Well, she don't get to choose

She's lucky, got the hell out of this place
I'm left here, left to relive it each day
Said she don't want to be remembered for the way this all fell through
Said she don't want to be remembered for the bad shit that she do
Well, she don't get to choose
No, it ain't up to you.
Track Name: Christina
Head is heavy and your body's broken
Last Camel is the one you're smoking
You'll just bum one with your smile
This town gets smaller every second
It's your last chance to escape from the wreckage
But you got no good place to go
Your ex is living out in Fresno
Calls you up and says, "Baby, please come home"
But you've never lived that far from the ocean
So just start your car, meet me out for the weekend

Hit the road with the radio blasting
All alone and you feel like dancing
Christina, you'll be loved
Heart is free and the spell is broken
Head is clear, every word's been spoken
Christina, you'll be loved

Spent your love and never got you a ring
All your friends thought you'd found a sure thing
You just kept doubts to yourself
Your heart can mend from the worst of trials
It can break or be lost in the fire, Christina
It will never heal the same
So why not head right out, meet me here for the weekend?

So hit the road with the radio blasting
All alone and you feel like dancing
Christina, you'll be loved
Heart is free and the spell is broken
Head is clear, every word's been spoken
Christina, you'll be loved
Christina, you'll be loved
Christina, you'll be loved.
Track Name: On Duty
Spent my 20s working on choppers on a base across the sea
Saw some shit manning those machines
Still a man must carry the burden, all the pain of what he's lost
Most people here don't care to know the cost

It's my duty to protect you and keep you safe from harm
It's my duty to protect you from now on

"Work as hard when they're not looking as you would when they walk by"
Wish that I could follow Dad's advice
But I came back to Colorado, work was hard to come by there
They thank me for my service, send me away

It's my duty to protect you and keep you safe from harm
It's my duty to protect you from now on

Met a girl in a Longmont bar with a heart-shaped face and an easy charm
She pleads for me to tell her what I done
Suddenly, I don't feel burdened, she eases the weight that's held me down
Wonder what I'd be without her now
But still I wake up fast from bad dreams, don't recognize the room I'm in
She's by my side but damned if I know it

It's my duty to protect you and keep you safe from harm
It's my duty to protect you from now on
It's my duty to protect you and keep you safe from all I saw
It's my duty to protect you from now on.
Track Name: Broken Skyline
Lately I have been so lonely
Lately I have been so lonely
Lost the love that used to warm me
Lost the love that used to warm me
Underneath the broken skyline
Underneath the broken skyline
Lost faith as I walked the High Line
Lost faith as I walked by myself
Faith once firmly held

It's morning, I could use some fresh air
It's morning, I could use some fresh air
Just waiting for the night to get here
Just waiting for the night to get here
Season's turning and the leaves are falling
Season's turning and the leaves are falling
Can't escape what my mind recalls
Can't escape the memory that haunts me now
Those thoughts I can't keep out

Honey, I still know you better than you know yourself
Honey, I would have walked to the end of the Earth for you

Street's busy but deathly quiet
Street's busy but deathly quiet
Look for ways just to break the silence
Look for ways just to break the silence
Keep talking but no one's listening
Keep talking but no one's listening
Made true all my worst suspicions
Made true all I feared of her then
Don't make me feel that again

Honey, I still know you better than you know yourself
Honey, I would have walked to the end of the Earth
Honey, I still know you better than you know yourself
Honey, I would have walked to the end of the Earth for you

Lately I have been so lonely
Lately I have been so lonely
Lost the love that used to warm me
Lost the love that used to warm me.