Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The last time the All Get Out boys were here, we thought that they were wrecked. They came in with a clutch of new songs and they made us think about suffering and dying little by little. They made us think that they had entered a period where things were dark and dislodged and they were just out there waving in the wind, the ends of them becoming individual strings, with each good gust and retreat. I wrote this about their new take on missing and lonesomeness, at the time, "It's a monumental, mental and physical break in strength, where a man just crumbles into a mess of a body that can't walk anymore, can't crawl anymore and can hardly find good enough reasons to drag themselves out of bed in the morning to face anything. These beautiful, wrenching stories of escalating sorrow show what it must feel like to be pounding your head against a wall day after day, unable to be where you truly want to be (in your home, in your bedroom, safe and sound amongst the quiet and the warmth you're most familiar and comfortable with) and with the people you really love." On the group's newest album, "The Season," they're still in this place, even though only one of those songs made the final cut of for the record. The difference with this collection of songs, and the way they're captured on the album and in this session, is that they seem less sad, but no less dark.
The Charleston, S.C., group understands the violent nature of desolate times, of hollow hours and having to exist beneath the dim lights that all of us have inside - the ones that we perform our inner monologues under and the ones that see all of the cracks in shells. It's there in silence, without expression, that we lay it all bare and level with ourselves. Most of the time, we don't need anyone else to see what we're made of. It's not for them and it's especially not disclosed how we get to the bricks that we decide to lay. We diligently and privately pick through our knowledge and all that it is based on and we figure out how we're going to fight through it all. We figure out how we're going to fight the shadows and how we're going to battle everything. We go through those periods of hotter blood and those of subdued attitudes, some of which might come when we're getting beaten down a little more than we can handle.
When it comes to "The Season," Nathan Hussey, Mel Washington, Mike Rogers and Gordon Keiter seem to have going the blood of a healthy crimson, almost the perfect temperature. They're dealing with the lumps and the difficult issues regarding their interactions and their relationships with more strength, or just more realism. Hussey sings, "I am the leader of a few good men/I am buried in another joke," seemingly making reference to this crazy thing that he does for a living, with his buddies, and that it doesn't stop there. It's a bizarre world that they've thrust themselves into and far be it for them to find much sanity in the ways that they're living or in the ways that they are forced to love and leave, love and leave, etc., etc. It's a never-ending saga that feels like a cruel joke and so they just rub dirt on the parts that hurt, no more a medicine than anything else could be. There seems to be more faith though, faith that something good will prevail in the end. It might not be a premonition, but the line from the title track, where Hussey sings, "I felt a hand in my hand/It covered up my mouth," that suggests that the wandering could all find a happy ending, when one hand could be intertwined with the right other hand and the need to spill the guts out in songs, on the hard road, away from the true love might have changed.