Forty- two years after Meat Loaf’s epic, multi-platinum global smash Bat out of Hell put Cleveland International Records in our collective musical consciousness, the legendary indie label is back in business. While their relaunch started with a CD and LP release of its mid-90s all-star compilation Cleveland Rocks and will involve releasing classic albums on digital and streaming for the first time, the company – which gave us everyone from Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes to the Iron City Houserockers – is eagerly signing new artists.
Cleveland International has hit pay dirt by landing, as their first artist of this generation, roots-folk rockers The Cerny Brothers for the release of the duo’s latest album Looking for the Good Land. On what is truly an epic American rock n’ roll album, the siblings – Scott and Bob Cerny – bring a powerful, often anthem-like edge to their vibe, expanding beyond the folksy acoustic based sound of their early albums.
Over the course of 12 tracks, they weave some of their most colorful narratives ever, with punchy hooks and a sweeping vision of heartland rock that captures the spirit of – and stacks up well next to – the spirit of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Bob Seger and other artists rooted in the blue-collar experience. It’s the culmination of a sonic evolution which began on their last album Sleeping Giant, which found the Cernys including electric guitar and more edge into their roots sound for the first time.
The album’s three already released single’s offer dynamic entry points to the deeper experience of the album, which includes nods to their adopted home of “Nashville,” “Denver” and the seeming “Million Miles” they’ve spent on the road. The fiery and passionate singalong rockers “I Wanna Love You” and “Days of Thunder” have close to 200,000 streams on Spotify. Their other single is "American Whore," a biting, hard driving takedown of our culture's obsession with consumerism.
The collection was tracked at Cowboy Jack Clements’ iconic studio, where they brothers captured a high-energy sound — including Bob’s pounding piano, Scott’s crackling electric guitar, plenty of vocal harmonies, and the insistent heartbeat of a four-on-the-floor kick drum — in the same room that once housed country icons like Johnny Cash.
Since releasing their debut, Dream, in 2011, Scott and Bob Cerny have built their audience on the road, traveling far beyond their homes (their birthplace of rural Illinois, initial launching pad of Los Angeles and now, Nashville) to play a string of dive bars, living rooms, clubs and theaters.
Touring around the country also opened the brothers’ eyes to the diversity of U.S. society. They made friends in liberal cities, conservative towns, and everywhere in between. Along the way, The Cerny Brothers took note not only of the things that make each American unique, but the connections that pull us together, too. They realized that regardless of an individual's past, everyone seemed to have one thing in common: they were searching for their own peace of mind.
Looking For the Good Land nods to that universal journey, examining what it means to be part of the American story.
To order Looking For the Good Land: https://www.instagram.com/thecernybrothers/