Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
"Be careful what you hear, should you happen upon heavy meadows," is a line that gets heard in the title track of Detroit, Michigan trio Javelins' latest record, Heavy Meadows, and immediately one starts to think about how impossible what they're suggesting you do is. It's like telling someone at the top of a skyscraper, "No matter what you do, don't look down." The heavy meadows are full of creakings and groans, things busy living and as busy dying off, whipping and knocking against each other in the incessant wind tear. And anyone wandering too far out and into those surroundings either has a lot of stuff to hear upstairs or they're soaking in the deafening silence - hearing all of the many, many voices and words jumping forth from the clamoring stalks and tangles. The band - which consists of two vocalists, drummer Matt Rickle and guitarist Matt Howard and bass player Julian Wettlin - goes on to bring love into the conversation, adding that if one makes the decision to fall in love, perhaps out in these meadows of verdant weeds and grasses, running away from all of regularity and other people, to make sure that you're somewhere that you'd be happy ending up, stuck for the most part. It's as if the falling part of the love recipe is meant to be taken quite literally. There will be a spill, a tripping over some inanimate and stationary object that will subsequently result in an accident that will require a splint, a setting and perhaps a cast. You might be eating things out of a straw for a while if this all happens, so you'd better have yourself a patient soul and you'd better be cool with the person that caused the fall. It will end up better that way. Things will work out that way, if you can just stick to the basics and not only watch where you're going, but pay attention to who's following you or who is next to you, at all times. There's a degree of paranoia throughout the song, suspicion that needs to be dealt with, ironed out and understood. There may be ulterior motives to be worked out and fickleness isn't frowned upon. One should be skeptical in the songs of Javelins, which sound like sincere flatteries being paid to early Superchunk, with quirky musicality and the coolly heated vocals of Rickle and Howard that sound so fresh and young, but experienced in the right ways. The skeptical behavior shouldn't be turned toward the songs or the band itself. Instead, it just rises up from the material, as if love's conceivability or its ability to be convincible was a crapshoot. It's a feeling that carries into all of the directions that the band takes its music - both lyrically and rhythmically. It's odd and unpredictable and yet feels like the way that many young men can appreciate discussions and dissertations being strung up and grilled.
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