Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
One of my favorite ways to start an essay about two sexy men is to say, "This is not about me. It is about them. Feast yourn eyes upon them." It's a choice way to begin any number of essays, though people sometimes choose not to go through with the claim and they eventually find a way to make it about them and not just about the playful rompering that can take place when words meet mind and then decide to prank one another. They fire up the grills and shoot out golden brown perversions of feelings and analogies that only make sense long after they've been forgotten. This is the way to shingle the Pattern Is Movement essay though - through the kinds of absurdities that would have made Italo Calvino and Rob Serling twist their brows up into clumsy knots.
We have to turn our attentions in so many different free-form and animalistic directions to just catch them delivering the doughy part of the jelly-filled doughnut, because the raspberry filling is all that's splattered across our hands and eyes. They've imparted to us a classic example of what-is-it that's a distant relative of the spooky parlor game typically engaged in around the night of the goblins and ghouls at the end of October whereby hands are fed into slimy bowls of grapes and the blindfolded are told that they're touching eyeballs. Only, we're going into this without a stitch of a kerchief shading our vision.
This is all happening with our faculties sharpened and alert and they - Chris Ward and Andrew Thiboldeaux - still manage to catch us awesomely off guard. It's a smash-up of "Phantom of the Opera" meeting "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" meeting wolves and grizzly bears sending out their haunting and bellowing mating calls across a moonlit blanket meeting tripping and falling and realizing that nothing makes sense, which you'll find out later was a terrible case of amnesia. It's their fault, but you'll seek no vengeance. You'll bow to them instead and kiss their rings for all that they've allowed you to experience.
The Philadelphia band offers itself now as a two-piece and though the transition has been an extensive one - from that "band of dudes" as Ward and Thiboldeaux refer to it as - the songs that they're making aren't lacking any of that wilderness that they used to have because of fewer people. The songs actually rally together as more ambitious of offerings and suggest that there's just no telling what's around any of their corners. As people, they secretly wonder when Perez Hilton will bring light to their utilization of the kavorka with grizzlies, but as musicians, they seem to channel some of the most natural passions that can come to a person. Or something other than a person - a werewolf or a coyote.
All Together is a staggeringly scripted new venture that has Ward and Thiboldeaux tearing off their clothing and just calling out to a full yellow moon. "Bird" is a song that could be sung from the bottom of a canyon and could be heard from the lowest hanging asteroid belt. It could riddle into you like a termite only instead of chewing your home up, it would reinforce it, making it stronger with certainty. The words of the refrain just bubble back onto you like a warm crest, working you like taffy until their singing is yours and yours is theirs. It feels like they could be great sources of inspiration for those whose job it is to build actual bridges and skyscrapers, giving the basic necessities to throw something high up into the air with such bravery and assuredness that it will withstand all of the tests of time and all of the winds of change. It's big enough to cover all of those bases, the sound of these two sexy men who have nothing to do with me.