Article Contributed by SRO | Published on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Acclaimed Los Angeles-based band DEAD ROCK WEST--led by vocalist Cindy Wasserman and singer-guitarist Frank Lee Drennen—today (November 23) have shared the official alternative video to their politically charged song “Revolution In The Garden” (Blackbird Record Label). It was directed by Henry Mortensen, the son of Exene Cervenka of X and actor Viggo Mortensen. Watch the video hereGlide Magazine premiered the video November 20, writing that the band “never let their boots down and their new single “Revolution in the Garden” is equally poignant, resilient, and powerful. The band combines absolute rockish thunder and a punkish raw noir that mixes shades of Patti Smith with The Germs.”

Henry Mortensen directed and shot the video between northern Idaho, Denmark, the Thousand Islands region of New York, the wilds of Yosemite and finally the sun-dappled ocean breeze of Venice, California, mixing images of the Garden of America with the cartoon influences of an American Youth past. The animation of the song’s chorus became a collaborative effort with all hands on deck, including Kelli Mayo of Skating Polly, Louis Perez III and even Exene Cervenka whose handwritten artworks are all seen in the video. The hand of Viggo Mortensen also appears; Henry’s father signed on for a guest spot pushing a stick around in frame. We are told that his hand was paid scale. It all was in an effort to fulfill Henry’s vision for the film, which was of a true garden, its defenders, of justice and hope, even in the face of intense conflict. 

The first video for “Revolution In The Garden” was premiered via American Songwriter (October 21) with a piece by Paul Zollo who noted that “the new passionately incendiary single by the acclaimed Americana-plus band Dead Rock West, led by Frank Lee Drennen and Cindy a great song and remarkable record, expansively produced by David J Carpenter, and delivered with urgency by Frank and Cindy together, bringing back the dual spirit of John Doe and Exene in X.”

“Revolution In The Garden” marks a potent new sound for Dead Rock West whose 2017 album More Love was produced by punk rock legend John Doe of X and who’ve toured with X, Dave & Phil Alvin, and Peter Case. The band’s line-up is rounded out by Geoff Pearlman (lead guitar), David J Carpenter (lead bass guitar) and Phil Parlapiano (lead piano + keys).  On the new song, they’re joined by Matt Lynott of The White Buffalo on lead drums, indie artist Patrick Dennis (lead percussion) and The Section Quartet (strings). “Revolution In The Garden” is sonically propulsive and lyrically a powerful call-to-action with lines like “The voice in our head/The voice on the tube/The voice tellin’ us/We’re all gonna lose.” Read the press release here about the song’s release and lyric video.

The song was written by Drennen and indie rock artist Patrick Dennis 30 years ago when they played in a duo called The Homer Gunns from Leucadia, CA near San Diego. All of these years later, “Revolution In The Garden” feels more timely than ever.