Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Listening to Kyle Simmons, or boog, you get the sense that there's a lot you're missing. You can't help but think that you might be living in a different era, or in the most insulated part of the country compared to the one that the characters in his songs are living in. The Pottstown, Pennsylvania, songwriter feasts upon a land filled with cads and scabs, monsters and men - those who have no one to please but themselves and those who are trying to have someone else they'd like to please. There's little masquerading in boog songs.
These are men with calloused hands, dripping hearts, slurred tongues and slashed guys. They've been wronged too many times to count and they've taken it upon themselves to protect as much of their vulnerability as is humanly possible. They might even go so far as to take the tact of keeping their friends close and their enemies closer. It serves a need. It's easier on the nerves.
The stories that Simmons tells are those of murderous minds, even if they never act any of those murders out. They are tales of vigilant souls that might never get a chance to exact revenge. It's because of these circumstances that these men resort to these songs. It's in them that they are, or Simmons is, able to have it all play out a little better, even if something of a mess is still left behind. Simmons sings with ire in him. It will never leave him, but, to be fair, it seems to be doing him good.
He sings on "Cween":
your shirt is so thin,
I can see your skin
And your skin is so thin,
I can see your veins—
all of them
They look like rivulets with nowhere to drain
canvasing a landscape more parchment than porcelain
I won't just weave the rugs on which you walk—
I would dye
the fabric myself with all the blood-
colored flowers I can find
Would that be enough to suit one so sublime
as your majesty?
Can't you see the lengths I'd take for you?
After all, it's the least thing that I could do for a
that pallor in your face
lends such natural grace to
the darkest of spaces between your words,
the pitfalls there
It's just the breaking off of sounds that I just cannot endure
How can you drill on my bones, yet seem so demure?
can I please be the one whose finger you let rub
vermilion into your lips, so that they can suck
all the sense out of his mind?
You'll have him lying at your door like a dog,
hopeless, pining for that which he ought not see—
to be what I can't be:
a temporary trapping for that given wound."
His ire could be rabid. It's not. It's just here to make those adjustments. It's here to keep the tempers indoors. The streets will run dry that way.