Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs
The sort of infatuation and longing that Dominant Legs specializes in is one of objectiveness and of supreme politeness. The feelings are there and yet there's a closeness to them that keeps the holder of them hesitant to make them out to be anything more than barking dogs that need to be kept quiet during the overnight hours so that no one else hears them and gets offended. The feelings that Ryan Lynch and Hannah Hunt sing about, in 1980s disco-y duet style, across Jackson 5-like guitar work and bubbly, bouncy synthesizers, are most certainly irrepressible, but there are great efforts made to keep them pretty quiet. These sensations of quaint love and lust are corner dwellers, over there with the dust bunnies and where the floor meets the walls in two places. It's a panting emotion, one that's wearing pajamas and one that has its contacts out, glasses on for the time-being, until the lamplight is clicked off and its taken itself to bed for the evening. It's there and it's going to burn a body up, eat at its insides a little and keeping on until there's nothing left or the body's moved on to something else to worry about - something like debt or general health. Those always come second, anyway, in the mind of this kind of slowly approaching, but long-staying love. Lynch and Hunt present these songs with a great backbeat and a sweet undulation, like waves rocking beneath the deck. There's little urgency, just a recognition that not everything's going so swell right now. There's a sense that all of the stuff that's happening in these songs - and all of the people dealing with all of this stuff that's happening - are going to be sorting it out, wading through it for an indeterminate length of time. Like flood waters, they're here for a while and they're going to quietly hang around, rippling just a little bit now and then, as a form of stretching out the sedentary parts. Lynch sings slightly like Spencer Krug of Sunset Rubdown/Wolf Parade/Moonface fame, sending out his words from a strange, squeaky area at the back or the bottom of the throat. It sounds sometimes like he has a complex, when he sings, "You could say that I wasn't tall/That I wasn't man enough to begin with," at the beginning of "She Can Boss Me Around," but if you listen long enough, you realize that it's just his way of sticking up for himself. He's not copping to anything, just throwing words back, protecting himself in all the places where he's most vulnerable. He seems to think about starlit nights and that storybook romance a lot, or it's at least at the heart of what's desired, but then it gets all messed up - as it usually does. It's not going to spread though. The hurt gets contained. Lynch and Hunt's characters just bury the hurt and they go out dancing, to move around and feel something else, even if they might be out there, moving around on the periphery of the floor. It's where it feels the best.