Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
At the conclusion of the song "Don't Forget Sister," you aren't sure why you feel kinda emotional, not in a soppy and weak way, but in a way that reminds you of some of the most chief reasons that we tolerate those trespasses against us and all of the rotten and unfortunate things that seem to happen to everyone, no matter their type or social standing. There's no immunity from getting beat to a little bit of pulp every so often and that's when we return home to a place where there's more compassion than we'll typically find anywhere else, where there's a cold compress and some chicken noodle soup or a free beer. Low vs Diamond's Lucas Field sings about a sister coming to visit her brother with a message and it's such a universal message of goodwill and caring beyond what's normal between just any old two people, that it gets borrowed for a conversation with that very same sister by the end of the song. At this point, everyone's feeling good about being related and about being from where they're actually from, even though there's still some mild depression going around here and there. Luckily, there's no longer any shame to a lineage or a bashfulness regarding how nice your car or threads are. It's taken back to an honest to goodness sheer pride sort of discussion, where there's the most worth in being a good person and recognizing that you've come from other good people even if they don't have the biggest house or shiny watches and all the free time in the world to just coast it out. The band, made up of five members from five different big American cities, seem to be kind of like these characters, once they've sorted out their personality conflicts, bringing to their songs very stable matter and also enabling it to be interpreted in a way that are completely alive and pulsating all over the place. Oddly enough, Field resembles The Killers' Brandon Flowers, at times in his vocal delivery, and one tries hard to denounce any sort of suppositions or leaps of definition, but the sound of it - on this self-titled debut - could be exactly what the currently wayward Vegas band were intending when they wrote "Sam's Town." This is twistedly how they would have liked it to have sounded - with the punch in the gut of blue-collar American life rolling by the eyes of all those hard-working people who've never known them in mirrors without the rings under them, people who might not be getting all of the happiness out of their lives that they'd dreamed up so long ago, but the hardship is holding off fairly well and that's an accomplishment unto itself. It's a point in a life's soundtrack when there's no need for synthetic sounds - just real piano, real fucking guitar and real, chill-inducing words that settle us into a recounting of a life that ticks loudly, with its triumphs, with its failures and grievances, with its unsustainable pace. Field sings, "Time can't stop the soul/I became the void you couldn't know," during the tune "Song We Sang Away" and it's an idea - the first part about the resiliency of the soul - that is at the heart of everything the band makes and that unknowable void is what makes it all as enthralling as it is.