Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
Regan John Farquhar can sound agitated most of the time. The artist better known as the Los Angeles-bred Busdriver takes offense at a number of things and, if you hear him out, you're likely to find yourself feeling a kindred sense of connection to a man who dislikes all of the phony bullshit that passes as the way things are these days. There's a lot of bullshit out there. We all realize that. We are surrounded by people who find themselves stressed about pointless and aimless trivialities. People are looking for medications they don't need, looking at extravagances as necessities and moaning about all manner of idiocy that passes for their chief problems, for the biggest wrinkles they'll have to deal with this day. It seems that Farquhar inserts us right into the macrocosm of Los Angeles and all of its many streams of hustling and posturing, extracting from the charade all of the comedy and frustration that you'd expect from such a scene. It's the Los Angeles of Nathanael West's writing, of F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing and those dead guys were already seeing the ruins being created there when the place was just being built. The place - and not all of it, mind you, but a major part of what the city revolves around - is a thousand times more of an example of "the sleaziest cesspools" if you're looking for that sort of thing. There are those beautiful parts too and those aren't to be discounted. There are wonderful people and there are more reasons to live there than there are to not live there, if you were to take a magnifying glass to it, but Busdriver's method is to bring the underbelly of the place alive and make it feel exhilarating, as if it in and of itself it's a place that should be marveled over for its ability to bring out both the best and the absolute worst in people - the creators and the predators.
He raps - in way that sounds as if it were possible that TV On The Radio and Lewis Black could be the same scrappy being or body sharers - about those who probably get the sphincters bleached, to those who injure themselves in hipster bars, people who are professionals when it comes to be unscrupulous and uncouth. These are the people that he can't help but observe and comment upon - the viruses that he's drawn to as if they held some kind of magnetic charge. He observes the different states of degeneration and misguided aspirations with a fit in his voice, plenty of piss and nails, as if there's a part of him that so closely understands the symptoms and such because he can see how rampant they are - in himself, in the masses. They are almost unavoidable as everyone breaks down a little and becomes a part of what they hate, whether they like it or not and Busdriver songs acknowledge this. Farquhar sounds disgusted most of the time - in everyone else, in himself for perhaps being a carrier of some of those ugly parts, or for giving so much of a damn that others are getting themselves so wayward. He sings, "The body likes when you commit to celluloid," suggesting that nature will let that water roll downhill if left to its own devices, seeking that path of least resistance. Everyone tends to get lost in the current.