Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain Studio in Echo Mountain, NC
The booklet that comes in the vinyl of Durham, North Carolina band Megafaun's latest and self-titled album is the size of a chapbook, or so. It features the lyrics for the collection of songs and, right where the staples fold over, halfway through it is a song entitled "Resurrection." It seems like an absolutely fitting place to slot in a song about a resurrection - in the middle of a living and breathing record - the same as you would do with the resurrection of a person. You can't very well have the resurrection at the end because that's not much of anything but a kick in the nuts. You've got to be able to enjoy the resurrection or it's simply a flicker. The problem with the resurrection on the record is that the character that it's supposed to be happening to has a long way to go. It's something of a foggy, uphill battle still to go. It's a self-proclaimed rising or renewal. It's a hopeful redemption, but the thing about redemptions and resurrections is that you usually need some help with them if they're every going to stick, if they're ever actually going to be what they say they are. The song goes:
"One more try to get this right
Or the devil's gonna take me home
One track mind, repeat the line
"Wild hearts can't be broke"
Tis one on from dusk til dawn
Let skeletons out the door
Call you from a motel phone
And tell you that I'm coming home
First try, nothing right
Devil's 'bout your only friend
Second try, do or die
Broken hearts always mend
First things first, there's nothing worse
Than getting when the getting's gone."
Man, there's nothing in there that makes this story sound like anything that's going to turn out rosy. Most of the record takes on a similar bent, where the relationships are more than just strained. They're wobbly and hanging on for dear life as the road and time have shoved them off to the shoulder, with the window trash, the glass shards, the animal bones and skins and tire remnants. There's still some hope in those hearts, but it's drying up quickly. It's gasping and it's gurgling, choking. Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund give these desperate stories those glints of hope that they wouldn't otherwise have. In a way, that give them to us too.
Megafaun Official Site
Home Tapes Records