Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
A storm, she struck last night and has been relentlessly driving her point home for the last 20 hours now, knifing those fat pellets of water into the lawns and picking off some of the early weakening, yellowed and red leaves from the tuckered out trees. It brought with it cooler temperatures to accessorize the soaker. The daytime lightning flashes are tricks and treats, deceptive in their timing and brash attitude. The grey sky has been moving through like a serpent, tied to the end of a scroll being reeled in.
It's taken its time proceeding, overstaying a welcome probably, but no one tells these women what to do when they want to rumble and amble. It's a system associated with the whimpering Hurricane Gustav, which hit the Gulf Coast region earlier in the week and the prolonged effect that it's having throughout the mainland has been producing the kind of surroundings that Mississippi's Colour Revolt couldn't buy. This is like waiting for the ideal light in the sky to film the closing sequence when it's right to have a funeral, when it's appropriate to serve up that wordy monologue that takes us to the epicenter of all the hand-wringing and inner turmoil that's been occurring over the course of story. It's a priceless piece of set design marked with all of the various assemblages that help convey the things that we're most fraught with when we say we're fraught.
These five young fellows play with contradictions and all of the nuances of this contradictory life as a dog grinds into a bone, chewing through them, but rarely seeing them as anything but little sour party favors that act as the lemons on rims of glasses. They give the random offerings all of that kick that they need. They present all of the gambles that the gamblers busy themselves with. They present the scope with which all of the poets and artists that they know see through and they acknowledge the way that everyone slides up to the table as a connection between the violent and the insane, between the pretty and the bleak and between the tragic and the ironic. There seem to be many inklings as to there being a grey area, where there isn't a clear-cut position to be had - it's the fence line that has plenty of seats to be sat on, but there's a certain contention that there's a lot of the all or nothing that we get all wrapped up into. It's destructive if we let it become that, but it's also where the highest highs and lowest lows reside. It's a burning passion and an all-encompassing urge - to need it all, to want it all.
Jesse Coppenbarger sings about the sirens popping out of the waters and seductively drawing us into their clutches and their caverns to devour us. It's a comforting seduction for the most part until the rope's been pulled tight around the neck of desire and confliction. The convictions that we all hold are pretty fierce and that appears to be what Colour Revolt likes getting too. We hold onto things and wish to let go of things, but we can't fight who we are. A leopard can't change its spots and a person doesn't shed its skin. We are not complete unless we indulge those sirens and their songs - get lured off the paths that are pleasantly worn, snaking us through the treachery and the scary fires. We're meant to be fooled, but we're also meant to right the ship when we've shaken off the corruption and the ghostly tingle that it makes us feel.
There's a good amount of questioning on the band's excellent new full-length Plunder, Beg and Curse and when they get down to it, the contradictions are all that we have in writing. They are our certainty. A higher power can be believed in, but its total benevolence needs checks and balances. The silver linings might be mercury. You just never know. They can be sugar too. Coppenbarger sings about people being giddy and livid in love. It's an all the time thing. Throw love out of the sentence.
Colour Revolt Official Site
Fat Possum Records