In its three-year existence, Boston’s Final Gasp has quickly established a well-deserved and fervent following thanks to its masterful blend of memorable melodicism and chest-thumping emotional power. Filling a gap that has taken up space in the punk and hardcore worlds ever since the original Misfits lineup, early Danzig, and (especially) Samhain, Final Gasp bring vigor and realness to the death rock and dark punk genres that feels like drinking cool water after a long trek through the desert.
The band’s summer of 2021 sophomore LP, Haunting Whisper (covered by Cvlt Nation here), received wide popular and critical praise for its brilliant songwriting and compelling musicianship. The band has hardly been resting on its laurels, though, continuing to write and perform as they dedicate energy to their next record. In the meantime, they have thrown their eager fans a bone with this excellent appetizer of a singe, Homebound, which combines a new, eponymous song, and a cover of the immortal Hüsker Dü.
A song equal parts romantic and despairing, title-track “Homebound,” shows the already amazing band at the peak of their powers, combining the classic Elvis-swagger crooning, tortured soul spookiness, and galloping catchiness of all of their greatest work to date. If this track is any indication, their upcoming full-length is truly something to await with great anticipation.
The best covers manage to honor their source material while making them something totally new. Final Gasp accomplish this with great flair with their take on the release’s b-side, a cover of Hüsker Dü‘s “The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill.” A beloved track by a legendary, genre-defining band, the song is totally reincarnated in the hands of Final Gasp, who will manage to turn younger punks onto the great Hüsker Dü while simultaneously impressing the most jaded hardcore oldhead with this adaptation.
These two songs serve to further establish what those who have been paying any attention already know: Final Gasp is revitalizing death rock and punk, and they are doing it with an ease and a mastery that are hard to find anywhere else in the genre today. If you haven’t already been converted, this release will do the trick.
Final Gasp vocalist, Jake Murphy, shared some thoughts about the new single with Cvlt Nation.
Following the excellent reception for Haunting Whisper, what inspired you to release an EP featuring a single and a cover?
So we have about 9 or 10 new songs we recorded back in August as kind of a demo for a new record we’re going to go record in July. We had been covering the song on a tour we did in November/December and really loved playing it and how it sounded with our approach to it. We just wanted to do something fun and we love how it came out.
How is your approach to writing a single different from you approach to longer releases?
Since we have a new batch of songs, we chose to just pick the one that seemed like it felt like it’s the most done because it’s from a demo for the real deal.
What were the musical influences for this single? What about lyrical influences?
The musical influences for this one have batch of so many things haha. I’ll say that October File by Die Kreuzen and Night Time by Killing Joke definitely played a big part of it. But so did Bostons own No Tolerance. Lyrically this song is about someone in your life who is very important to you and watching them battle with alcoholism.
What does Husker Du mean to mean to Final Gasp?
Just a good band for us and fun to listen to in the van. They definitely played as a big influence on one of our newer songs too.
How did you decide on “The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill”? How did you balance loyalty to the original with making it your own?
Eric, our drummer is actually the one who suggested we cover it. He’s got a pretty wide knowledge of grind and death metal bands and he was showing me Cripple Bastards cover of it and thought it was hilarious. So I was down to try it and see how we could kind of do it with our sound. We had our friend Jason rip the solo on it because he was filling in for us on the tour back in December so he already knew it and he nailed it. Other than that we just played it in our tuning and I maybe dialed back a bit on the intensity that Grant Hart has on it haha.
What should people know about Final Gasp? About this release?
We’re going on tour July 13-July 20th with Poison Ruin from Philadelphia who are incredible. We’re all really excited about it. We’re going to start recording in late July and early August for a full length. Order the tape from Tribe Dream Records!!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Shout out to Doug for putting the tape out and online every where, shout out to Jason for recording the whole thing and rocking on it as well. Hit him up to record on his Instagram page @biproductboston! Thanks for having us and see you on the road soon!
Homebound was recorded & mixed by Jason Tucker.
Artwork and layout are by Chris Gill.
Pick up the cassette at Triple Dream Records.