Boot Hill HymnalBorn out of the voices of past lives and baptized in Dust Bowl dirt, the dark roots music of the Heathen Apostles harkens back to a bygone chapter of American history while keeping one foot firmly planted in the present-day city of Los Angeles. One Indian summer evening, femme fatale bellower Mather Louth (Radio Noir) and punk rock veteran Chopper Franklin (The Cramps, Charley Horse) quickly uncovered a mutual appreciation for murder balladry, Americana, and memento mori. The landscape was further tilled with the addition of Thomas Lorioux (The Kings of Nuthin) on the upright bass. The Heathens debut release, Boot Hill Hymnal, seeks to answer a question posed long ago by Blind Willie Johnson just what is the soul of a man? (Or, as the case may be here, a woman with a thousand-yard stare). The resulting collection of songs is complex, catchy, and wholly cohesive to the Apostles ghost town. The albums powerful opener paints a supernatural plea for protection against the most primal of evils, while The Reckoning tells the terrifying tale of a lone miscreant hell-bent on destruction. However, the Apostles are hardly a one-note wonder with regards to nefarious subject matter, as evidenced by the rousing foot-stomper Forget-Me-Not. The band also ensures that listeners will want a second book of Heathen hymnals in the form of forlorn lullaby closer Lonesome Whistle, its final chords drifting off like a lone tumbleweed into the fading sunset.