Tom Gabel's Heart Burns

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Sunday, November 02, 2008
Since I love Against Me!, I had high hopes for lead singer Tom Gabel's seven-track solo EP. Well, guess what? It fucking rocks.

Heart Burns challenges Gabel's punk roots by throwing acoustic guitars, harmonicas, and drum machines into the mix. He's less angry here and more contemplative, yielding such stimulating delights as "Anna Is a Stool Pigeon," which tells the true story of an environmentalist who was burned by a snitch he fell in love with.

But the song I wish to highlight here because of perfect timing is "Cowards Sing at Night," a short but scathing criticism of John McCain and the Iraq war that lifts lines directly from McCain's memoir, "Faith of My Fathers." The following pared-down acoustic version may reveal the limits of Gabel's punk howl when not backed by noise, but I dig how it sounds much like a desperate plea:

Cowards Sing at Night
by Tom Gabel

Distinctions of courage, only cowards sing at night
Human blood sure affirms we are noble by our suffering
I don't believe in exceptionalism
I still have hope for the future

Come back home, Johnny
Come back home, Johnny
Come back home from being numb

Without resolve you are self-assured
With eager anticipation you are ready for war
Faith in your fathers and in the family
I hold no regard, I am unapologetic

Come back home, Johnny
Come back home, Johnny
Come back home from being numb

Your war is over
Your war is over
Your war is over, Johnny
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