Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The ships in Leland Sundries songs all have holes in the hull and moths have chewed into the sails, but those hearty and worn out men are still out there on the waters, bouncing over the waves with their fuzzy and fuzzier thoughts. The women in these songs are all conniving and full of deceit, ready to spring without warning. They are mostly good-for-nothing though still desirable and given the power to remain ruinous, even when all instincts recommend that they be avoided at all costs. The houses that these rugged rapscallions live in are infested with dreariness and asbestos. They should get out of them, but they've got nowhere else to go and as luck would probably have it, they'd bring the dreariness and asbestos with them to wherever they chose to lay their head next. The shoes are leaky and the socks are ratty and thin. They smell like cigarettes in a way that makes you think that they never stop. They've got hair that's falling out on top and growing wild on their faces, wiry and clumped thicker in certain places instead of others.
These are songs for the working class of today, but framed in a way that makes them sound like songs for the working class from the turn of the century, when hope was rationed out stingily. It's when the sugar and the bread was short, but here still are the value meals that can be had, like the roast beef special that lead singer Nick Loss-Eaton sings about on this session.
These tattered men are unsatisfied and they forget that they're "a-shiverin," forced into a survival mode that takes up all their strength, that's needed just to get them over to the fire bins to warm their hands. They've been bruised and discarded many times, but they'd like the chance of being discarded again. They'll take those odds, as Loss-Eaton sings, "My sweet, cantankerous baby/I don't need you to save me/Baby please come back home."