Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
This is the last session posting of the year of two-thousand and eight. As you are already aware, it comes to you from Brooklyn trio Earl Greyhound, which was here during the first week of June, as summer was just getting suited to the season. It was already hot and sort of sticky and Kamara Thomas' most spectacularly quaffed Afro was in its fluffily solid shaping, like a dark brown globe of the world still undecided on which orbiting direction it would like to take. It was early in the morning hours when they arrived here in Rock Island and Thomas was just awaking for the day as the side doors of the van were thrown open and she groggily slipped out.
The hair, so epic and monumental, was impressive in its stack and wealth and Thomas stood on the thick, cobbled sidewalk in a thin as a tissue tee-shirt and a chipped tooth smile, ready to do something that she'd never done so early in a day before: destroy. Big Ricc Sheridan was looking Isaac Hayes meets Marvin Gaye cool, big and strong and focused on quietude and a smooth operation. Matt Whyte, the lanky guitarist and singer, looked as if he could have put away a few Grand Slam breakfasts and never reflected the action, owner of some enviable metabolism that could be getting some outside support from various acts of smoking. All three had the bleary-eyed drain of a previous night's hard stage work, graveyard shift hours and throwing back some spirits, even if the acts were by association and the company they kept. It was a pure rock and roll ethos that spilled from them like a cologne and the slow moving soon was replaced with the kinds of sounds that they've built their name around, the kinds of sounds that trigger a cavalcade of neck-breaking and avalanches that bury everything in their paths.
The music that they let course through and out of their bodies is from on high, from where the mountain snows are the purest and where the dirt's the bitterest. It's the sound of a Trans-am kicking buckets full of gray gravel and driveway dust into our faces as it peels away to carry its Hendrix and 80s arena rock-loving passengers off to do some bowling, hit the county fair for some hellraising and then cap the night off with some drunk driving. It reminds of those days when there was nothing faux pas or illegal about having the steering wheel in one hand and an Old Style in the other. You could smoke in hospitals and you could get away with living based on animal instincts just a little bit more. It's about wolves chasing the day, or running away from it. It's about nothing but the most natural urges and sensations that usually just get shrugged away and forgotten about because in a daily life that - at most - consists of a long or short commute to a shitty desk job, soulness responsibilities, household repairs, domesticity, trips to the Laundromat, take-out meals and the occasional affair or stress release they serve no purpose. They cannot be acted upon. These Earl Greyhound songs are our shady nights and the fantasies of our inner Jaggers and Hunter S's. These are the bullet holes in the wall, the ones that have great stories. These are the eyes that strain when they step out into the bright lights of the morning and Thomas singing, "You know I love you daddy," and having it sound like a seedy and wonderful revolution, even if it's temporary.
Earl Greyhound Official Site