Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
All is plundered, or so it seems. Everything's been gutted silly by garden variety greed and the greedy corruptors of smug glasses and old man jaws, gleaming defiance and an austere policy of never ever giving a damn. Some very specific wallets, houses and gas tanks stay eternally filled somewhere in the vicinity of oblivion for any number of fat cats as the homeless and jobless are forced into a hustling scheme that they never envisioned would become their life. It involves looking at the want ads as if they were pornography and generally owning the dooming, letting the rotting smell of depression fall over them like a snowfall, burying them before too long. Bleak is the same amount of black that's it's always been. This is not a new thing. Bleak days are bleak days and they're on a mission to outstay their welcome, keeping all of us thankless and luckless hacks, maybe suckers, maybe dolts company through all of it. There just haven't been times like these on such a mass scale in decades upon decades, freezing everything in its tracks and giving these short days even less light. But there can be cleansing, a purging of the toxins, of the poisons and it doesn't involve a rope and a bough or ceiling beam or two lungs full of carbon monoxide in a closed two-car garage. A friend recently came off a 10-day fast for no other reason then to allow the body to rid itself of impurities, substances that weren't indigenous to his insides. It was brought on by nothing other than wanting this - feeling like it was needed. For almost two weeks, he ate nothing but was allowed to drink an odd concoction of honey, lemon juice, water and cayan pepper. This would often be 12-15 glasses of the stuff every day and when the fast completed, he said that he hadn't felt or as sharp in years, if ever. It worked for him. It seems that TK Webb & the Visions do something like that, not just for those listening to their underrated 2008 release Ancestor, but for themselves as well. Webb, a writer of wonderfully jaded and disappointed, but poignant and sophisticated lyrics about always holding the short end of the stick in a shitty, good-for-nothin' place called home, is an ideal salve for all of the mental and psychological ails that abound right now. His band's songs are right for a time that has disintegrated into a period so drab and dismal that being downcast is almost seen as feeling pretty good. There are worsened levels of awfulness that could be felt. TK Webb & the Visions are that purging of having to deal with hopelessness and expectations turned to mush. It's music that should have been used in campaign rallies by the Democratic Party - not even so much this past year - but in 2004 when it might have actually helped the most, when the baboon could have had his shit tossed out onto the front lawn of the White House before we all got so dung-covered. It's music about having no choice but to bend over and take it and us sort of convincing ourselves that we're just tying our shoes. Not that bad, right? So what if we're bending over? There's a good explanation. It works as a form of gritty swashbuckling squalor involved with painting tits on an old, abandoned washer and dryer and taking frustrations out on inanimate objects. It works as a form of bluesy, shaggy-haired, banging your head against the wall reality that shows Webb doing a good Dylan for those people who drink themselves away, who are the townies at the pub on the corner or in the industrial neighborhood, the third-shifter who's never getting out of here alive. If you listen hard enough, you start to think, "If there is a cleansing, it sure sounds arduous." But then again, we're used to daunting these days, just as TK Webb has seemingly been used to them for as long as he can remember.
TK Webb & the Visions Official Site