Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help was built on the remnants of the Hoboken music scene that centered around the beloved music venue Maxwell’s and fostered indie rock greats like Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, and The dB’s (all of which have released music via Morrow’s Bar/None Records). After performing on Maxwell’s closing night with The Individuals and “a”, his two previous bands from 1977-1983, Morrow suddenly had the music bug again. Calling on drummer Ron Metz, bassist Mike Rosenberg, and guitarist Ric Sherman, Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help was soon gigging all over New Jersey and NYC. A self-titled debut came in 2017 with NPR noting “Morrow has never unplugged from the rock ‘n’ roll current crackling through his bloodstream, and his new material makes that apparent. He’s bringing as much energy and creativity to the table as ever but adding the kind of gravitas only maturity can supply.” That album leaned into blues and roots with nods to the spirit of Alex Chilton. On the band’s sophomore album Two, due out December 18th via Rhyme & Reason, the band has returned with the same taste for classics and a slight bent toward darker yet catchier material.
Like many music makers in the current climate, Glenn Morrow and his band Cry For Help needed to find a way forward for their follow-up to their warmly received 2017 debut album. The Bar/None Records owner and his band of indie alumni had an album recorded and ready for release just as a pandemic brought the world to a halt. How to put out an album when physical record stores are struggling, live shows are almost non-existent and the amount of noise on the internet makes it hard to promote at all?
With an excess of hope and new context for considering the songs, Glenn Morrow’s Cry for Help thrusts their sophomore album Two into the digital world. It’s an album of hook filled rock ‘n’ roll songs with the bandmates—drummer Ron Metz, bassist Mike Rosenberg, and lead guitarist Ric Sherman—all music industry lifers, adding doses of the post-punk and new wave they were surrounded by as they made their first marks on the music world in the ‘80s scenes of Hoboken and New York City. Produced by Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Elk City) at the Magic Door in Montclair, New Jersey, it all has a refreshing and welcoming modern shine.
This can be heard on the album’s second track “Soul Hold,” and today we are excited to premiere the song and its accompanying video. Filmed in raw fashion, the song features shadows dancing along the the music as a sort of tribute to Elvis’s Jailhouse Rock as well as Peter Pan. Fittingly, it also looks like the kind of video one might make while stuck at home. Musically, the song hits a 70s pop-meets-punk-meets-rock and roll vibe that feels reminscent of Elvis Costello alongside NYC acts like the Ramones. This is simple stuff and loaded with a proper amount of spunk that makes you want to jump up and down in a sweaty nightclub…maybe one day?
Glenn Morrow describes the process and inspiration behind the song and its video:
“Soul Hold” a song for anyone who doesn’t want to feel fenced in. I was very lucky in college to learn about non-linear film making from Marjorie Keller, a filmmaker who also wrote about film and assisted Stan Brahkage at one time. She really changed the way I perceived art and the world around me. Sadly, she died very young. One day when I was walking down the fire escape as the sun was setting at the Bar None office something about my shadow reminded me of the dance sequence in Elvis Presley’s Jail House Rock” movie. Add in the desire of Peter Pan not wanting to lose his shadow and voila! I later realized I was channeling what Marjorie Keller taught me
all those years ago.
Photo credit: Mark Zawarski