Despite the tune’s hippie rock spirit, its battle cry is far from drug-induced or aimless. Instead, it delivers a cutting rebuke of the Big Oil and Gas industries’ attempts to coerce disadvantaged rural communities. As the first verse states:
You can offer job creation
You can promise reparations
Your shareholders have been patient
But the Catskills Ain’t for Sale
Momentum builds after the first chorus as a vintage organ and fuzzy lead guitar join in this thoughtfully arranged march for clean water and air. DeWald penned “The Catskills Ain’t for Sale“ while volunteering with New York’s anti-fracking groups, part of a larger national movement which gained widespread attention with the help of Josh Fox’s 2010 documentary, Gasland. Although some time has passed since then, the lyrical matter finds itself, in many ways, more relevant than ever. DeWald explains how he’s been personally impacted, “I have spent a lot of time in the Catskills, in the Shandoken Valley, and I have close friends up there. When I thought about my friends being bullied by these big corporations, I got really angry. I think the song reflects that.”
Given the single’s politically charged and controversial subject matter, the vibe is refreshingly lightweight, delivered with a tongue-in-cheek bravado that demonstrates DeWald’s breadth of vocal performance styles. With fierce guitar licks, a driving rock rhythm and focused message, “The Catskills Ain’t For Sale“ is a three and half minute fireball for the indie rock listener in search of music that reflects the ecological and political crises of our time.
“The Catskills Ain’t for Sale” comes as the first single off Hayride Casualties upcoming release, Fossil Fuel Kid, out June 9, 2017. It was recorded, mixed and mastered at Behind the Curtains Media studio (link) by Michael Abiuso (formerly The Venetia Fair). A number of guest musicians contributed to the record, including drummer Tim McCoy (Darwin Deez, Field Mouse, formerly Savior Adore) and bassist Chris Bordeaux (formerly The Isles and Rahim). You can purchase the single on Bandcamp now.
Hayride Casualties will celebrate with a record release show on Sunday, June 11 at The Paper Box in Brooklyn, NY, as part of the Rock N’ Shop showcase during Northside Festival. The show will be free, all-ages, and features over 30 artists; learn more here.