Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It happens all the time, when I'm listening to something and looking around to see if anyone can see me listening to what I'm listening to. You know how you get, when you get into something, and that steady and robust head nod starts or the dog leg begins beating against the ground, as if you were attacking a kick drum set on hyperventilate. Certain parts of the body just get carried away with themselves. Or, if you're driving in your car, with the windows down and the stereo blaring loudly. While you're in motion, you think nothing of it, singing at the top of your lungs and thinking that you're getting away with it, but then you get stopped at a light and your radio is pumping a cassette tape of Ronnie Milsap and Dolly Parton. You aren't at all embarrassed, but if the people in that car beside you look over to see where the music's coming from and they see beardo over here singing badly, or even just listening silently to some heavy decibels of old country, they're going to wonder what your problem is, why you aren't listening to Blake Shelton like everyone else who's listening to country music is.
Now, if I can't feel as if I can get away with listening to Dolly Parton in the Heartland, without taking a bunch of weird looks, or more so, feeling as if I'm not man enough to pull such a thing off, imagine my issues with being able to listen to Disappears, the Chicago-based super-group featuring Brian Case of the Ponys and 90-Day Men, John Dwyer of Coachwhips and now Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. I need to be so much tougher. I need to be more agitated and moodier. I need to appear so much more like I might flip a table over or toss a television set out of or through a window than I currently do. My pants aren't tight enough, I have NO (!!!) tattoos and I'm at a point in my life where I actually like getting to bed at a decent hour, if at all possible. Disappears, on both its debut album "Lux" and its latest, "Guider," makes music that could make you feel like an inferior man, unable to stack up to the kind of ball-shaking, woozy corruption that they stick with electric force.
Every inch of every song is liable to combust at any second, bursting into midnight flames upon its sheer potential energy. It's build up and then come all of these releases that still feel as if they could be build-ups, ready to bust the side out of a mountain. You're never out of the clear with the sleek and lurching danger in the streets. It's always what you don't see and never will see that's the scariest thing imaginable and Disappears bring these possibilities into the night. You know your chest isn't as hairy as any of their chests and you're probably wearing girls socks and underwear, now that you think about it, and you have no idea how they got on you. You know damned sure that no one in Disappears is wearing girl socks or girl underwear.