Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's when I'm sitting out on my dad's rickety old, wooden pier, jutting out from the banks of one of the state of Iowa's biggest lakes that I find myself wondering what the fuck is wrong with fish where they haven't evolved enough to know the difference between food and a deadly, life-taking hook. It seems that over thousands and thousands of years that there would have been some natural advancement in their molecular structure, in their biology and cognitive capacity to differentiate danger from worm or bug. Because they haven't, you have a hard time feeling too sorry for the slippery things when they're yanked by the bleeding lips out of the water and left fighting for their last gulps of air, though it's never air that they want or need. All they want and need is to get back into that water to get another chance not to make such a horrible mistake again.
Oxford, Mississippi, band Colour Revolt, with its most recent work, "The Cradle," kind of frame a situation not that unlike what the fish out in those muddy, murky waters are fighting through. They're just swimming around, through the camouflaged liquid, with a glimmer of lighter green always above them during the daylight hours, bumping into things and making the wrong choices a lot of the time, finding it all to be a little surreal. The first thing that must come to them, after being pulled out from below the surface of the water is, "What have I done this time?" It's a very human thought and, sitting on that old pier, I surmise that fish have something equivalent to it, even if they can't articulate it. It's the thought and that clarity that come to them right before they're skinned, deboned and deep-fat fried. Similar surreal things happen to those who spend their lives traveling around with guitars and words, who are swamped with impulses and who see so many people living their lives and struggling to understand what or whom they're living them for.
Colour Revolt lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger sings about the strangeness that drafts in from so many angles, of things done and of their incongruence to most other things. There are just familiar whiffs of things known, of emotions known and then there's the larger pile of stuff that will always be filed under miscellaneous, though it adds up to be the bulk of our lives. He sings on "8 Years," of the travels of he and the boys, of the strange strings, "Watching two lesbians tongue on a mechanical bull/It got kind of surreal/I guess that things had gotten worse/But one man's Limo is another man's hearse/There is nothing more gorgeous or covered I have found, than the Northern part of the state at sundown/There is nothing more gorgeous or covered I have found, than the Southern part of the state at sundown/There is nothing more gorgeous or covered I have found, than the Eastern part of the state at sundown/There is nothing more gorgeous or covered I have found, than the Western part of the state at right now."
It's an everywhere and nowhere situation, where there's never going to be anything that feels completely normal. We're bound to change our minds and be wrapped up in the fluctuations. We'll get ripped out of the water. We'll be big-eyed and then we'll be tired as hell other times. We'll find that we're never going to determine anything definitively so we rest and we watch. We agree with Colour Revolt when they say, "Everything is just the same/Wrench it out from her landscapes/For all we know it's just a game/If love is blind where is my illness/For all we know we're all ashamed/And inside each is a weakness/For darkness doesn't know the game."