Apr 12, 2012 - Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL
- 1 Welcome to Daytrotter
- 2 Miss Mermaid
- 3 Family Dinner
- 4 Cash For Gold
- 5 Swamp Fire Lake
A Night That Was Wobbly, Or Were Those Days?
Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
At the very end of "Family Dinner," Writer lead singer Andy Ralph can be heard singing, "Call it a night/Call it a night/Call it a night…" enough times to know that he means it, that it really would make the most sense to just get off to bed. It would be good to just put that nearly finished drink down and consider the evening completed, a finished day. The way he says it, though, it seems that the night might have taken some unpredicted turns and that's more of an urgent need for everything to just break up and for people to see themselves to the door or stumble to a soft and mostly warm place to sleep it off.
The feeling that brothers James and Andy Ralph - formerly of San Diego and now residing in Brooklyn, NY with the rest of 'em - give off when they're writing and then playing is that there's no direct correlation to recognizing what's best (calling it a night) and then doing what's best. You get the sense that the advice always has a high probability rate of getting chucked into the toilet. A night that's wobbly and on its last legs can swiftly be turned into a nightcap that's going to require a few more rounds, a stop by the convenience store for some more smokes, a late night burrito or two, some consideration for calling up certain people that they're pretty sure are already sleeping in bed and then allowing random interjections to play the hand. Many of Writer's songs have that sensation of raw abandon, or that feeling that there's not a whole hell of a lot that's going to mess them around.
There's always a way to feel that things are conspiring against you and it's easy to watch the news at night - or roam around crowded places sometime - and think that there's not much refinement that's been done to human beings over the last couple of decades. It's more along the lines of an across-the-board degradation and one could easily call it game, set, match and piss everything away. The things that seem to have set in and gone on to move the Ralph boys are the general feelings of being surrounded by a flood of people and all the smog they've made and thinking about how it's just something that has to be dealt with. It's a matter of determining how they want to laugh at all of the blemishes and turn them into things that have petals and might look good in a vase on the kitchen table, on a day when the windows deserve to be opened. There are doomy sounds on "Cash For Gold," but then there are Mates of State-like synth parts that make their way into the composition and even it all out. Writer - with a considerable amount more grace and a ton more salty, seaside breeze - seems, oddly, to look at social situations in a way that Kurt Cobain once upon a time did - with feelings of enthusiasm and aloofness, and what amounts to getting bent over and told that this is just how it's gonna have to be.
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