Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews at 2KHz at Church Studios in Crouch End, London
Some days are leaden. They get to be weighed down by our pounding heads and our overworked bodies. All of the trifles and all of our shattered rallies sit like bad meals in the bottoms of our stomachs, resting there like lazy and stubborn dogs, not going anywhere, even if kicked hard in the ribs. We last with them just burrowing in down there, making themselves comfortable, all the while caring less and less about their host. You feel the pressure in your sinuses - as if it's trying to pop your nose right off your face, pressing on like feet against a wall. Nothing much can be done to take care of the sensation. You either have it or you don't have it. The days are either long or they're short. There are never days that are the right length and then again, any of it is subjective.
The band Admiral Fallow find ways to give the heaviest of days the appropriate amount of context so that they can somehow seem to levitate instead of sinking straight down. They make heartbreaking moments and those that will prove to be identical in time, chill-worthy, bits of lives that deserve an archivist, not a match and burn barrel. The ashes of these moments are spectacularly detailed and blindingly emotional. They embody the feeling that life is a son of bitch, but it sure has a pretty face.
As ??? sings, "The noose around my neck is tightened too much to take," the difficulties have taken over and they're going to squeeze the daylights out of you - making your face turn crimson and purple and force your eyes to bulge, but they seem never to finish you off until you can finally get to those years where others can say, "They've lived a good, long life." For as much hurt that we can find in Admiral Fallow's beautiful music, we get a sense that its characters are warm to the knowledge that there is great sweetness to be tasted. Love of another can be all that's necessary and little joys can sustain us. ??? sings on "A Capella," "The work of poets is a vapor we exhale." We might exhale them and watch them expire into the thin air around us, but it's enough to know that they were once harbored inside us.