Seemingly right when we need them most, Bruce Lee Band is returning with a new EP. Mike Park’s project with Jeff Rosenstock will release the Division in the Heartland on May 28th via Park’s own Asian Man Records. As a first listen, they’ve today released the title track as a charity single.
Park’s (vocals and saxophone) Bruce Lee Band has been pumping out politically charged ska-punk since the mid-’90s. Rosenstock (bass/keyboards/saxophone) joined up in 2014, with the current lineup filled out by longtime collaborators Dan Potthast on guitar and Kevin Higuchi on drums. The group got together during quarantine back in the fall to channel all their “COVID-imposed restlessness and broader anger at the state of the union” into Division in the Heartland.
The EP’s title track and lead single is a tight, cathartic sax blast that calls out the societal, economical, and political gaps the pandemic era has highlighted. “With suicide rates going viral/ And mental health spiral/ The 1% dance in greed/ As the frontline embrace the need,” sings Park. “Like a sporting event/ We root for our team like bandwagon fans/ But real life, not a dream.”
All proceeds from “Division in the Heartland” will be donated to StopAAPIHate’s #StopAsianHate campaign. Take a listen and purchase the track via the Bandcamp embed below.
The Division in the Heartland EP itself will be out on May 28th, with a limited-edition random colored 12-inch vinyl available through Asian Man Records.
The new EP follows Bruce Lee Band’s 2019 effort Rental!! Eviction!!, which Rosenstock produced. Meanwhile, Rosenstock dropped “Illegal Fireworks and Hiding Bottles in the Sand” and a duet with Laura Stevenson called “Caring” at the top of the year. Those tracks followed 2020’s surprise release NO DREAM, one of the year’s best albums.
Division in the Heartland EP Artwork: