Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
When a person feels the need to defend themselves, there's a 50-50 chance that they have a lot of explaining to do, that they're probably not as innocent as they've convinced themselves that they are. If a kid walks by his money and she asks, "Why do you smell like smoke?" and you reply, "It's not cigarettes. We were over at Bobby's house and they had a fire in the backyard," there's a pretty good shot that you're bluffing and you were sneaking smokes. You can cry foul, but you know what you're in for and you probably deserve the roughing up. If someone's calling you out on your childish ways, it could just be that you exhibit some childish behavior - that you may need to grow up a little. You might be neglectful. You might not care about windows getting broken or about staying up too late, drinking with your buddies, while your lady tries to sleep so that she can go to work the next morning. You might feel as if those are the wonderful privileges of being a man, but there could be a valid argument for needing to be more mature.
The songs that Night Engine performs here hinge on these explanations of and justifications for the acts of youth. There are many instances where the band's characters are fighting for their character, insistent on the idea that they aren't children any longer, while still running with the wolves and sneaking all of the complimentary liquor they can knock back. These stories revolve around that need to prove that they deserve a chance - first, second or otherwise - and that they aren't babies, all while they are tearing down the house with Madness-like efficiency. They seem to condone keggers and general playfulness/grab-assing. There's very little future thought in the minds of the people in these songs. There are pasts that are needing context, but these moments are the ones that greet you in the morning when your head is throbbing and you can't find your phone.
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