Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Everything passes, when it passes and no sooner than that. It will work its way through your system or some other system and, before too long, you'll be relatively remade, back to your normal state. There might be some chips in your paint and you might feel a little worse for the wear than you felt before you were stricken, but you're rather resourceful and you'll bounce back surprisingly quickly with some tender loving care and enough time to wipe the memory clear. Panic attacks and sicknesses all come on like storms and then leave just as abruptly, even if it feels like they linger longer than they ever should. You can feel as if you're looking into the eye and the teeth of these storms for longer than you'd ever like, but in the grand scheme of things, they are brief lapses in general health and wellbeing. They just feel like real sons of bitches when they're around.
The way that Minneapolis band Greycoats tackles the sentiment is through a combination of stubborn optimism and this feeling that there are going to be bitter disappointments and pocketed demons that are never going to be chased. There's this big and bold feeling that flawed man will prevail, in some form, in songs like "Leviathan," or that man will get what's to come to him, in a song like "The Lions and the Swans." He still might prevail. Lead singer Jon Reine sings that, "History belongs to the lions and the swans," and what we take from that is that there are always two versions of history - the one that's written by the defeated and the one that's written by the victors.
It's this hint at an imperfect reflection, where time has come and time has rumbled its way across the land and all of the people in its way, and it's left behind its prints, to be considered and either committed to memory or tossed into the fire. Reine, keyboardist Titus Decker, drummer Mike Smith and bassist Matt Patrick seem to resist the lions and the jagged rocks, mostly, looking at crossing the "great divide." There are sleepless nights and there are days without like, but Reine sings, "We won't stop til we reach the milk and honey on the mountaintop."