‘Wake Up And Fight’ sees Gaston Light’s Jason Corcoran unwilling to let the simple matter of darkness keep him down
aking its name from a list of Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s resolutions, you might expect Wake Up And Fight to be a folk track that buys into the protest ethos of the dustbowl legend. You would however be wrong. Partly.
Opening with a tapping bass, and the hollowed-out vibe that comes from waking face down in a dumpster, Jason Corcoran affects the whisky-edged and smoked, drained style of Ryan Adams; country rock with a stoic spirit. After a slow-burning opening, in which Gaston Light impresses upon us his unwillingness to lay and down and die by asserting that ‘If the sun don’t come I will wake up and fight’, Wake Up And Fight rolls into the sort of crunchy rock that Drive-By Truckers have specialised in for the last 30 years. And it’s this note that ends affairs.
It’s a risky play to pay such a clear reference to a legend, risking charges of imitation and limitation. Where Wake Up And Fight succeeds though is not simply in Gaston Light’s very deliberate musical difference to its inspiration, but his subtle kinship. Wake Up And Fight may not be a rallying call against political slights but it is a protest song, and that protest is against the writer himself.
Verdict: Cathartic country rock