Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's amazing how it takes something like a destructive shit of a hurricane, which shuts down one of the biggest cities in the world and wipes out places and people who saw it coming, to make people think that the apocalypse is at least a possibility. There isn't a second that goes by where the apocalypse, or the earth getting certifiably pissed off and just finishing us parasites off, shouldn't be feared. Every Monday morning, when I wheel another full load of garbage down to the corner for pickup and dumping, there's a sense of dread that I might not be doing myself in, but my kids might be screwed. It's a thought that leaves a person twisted up because really, what's there to be done about it. The garbage has to go somewhere. There are enough double-edged swords in these earth-warming stories, conundrums and dilemmas to supply an army.
Rob Crow and his legendary San Diego band Pinback have written a new song that feels like a darker edit of Cormac McCarthy tale of the end of days, with Vonnegut adding in tweaks, in the forms of sweet-sounding recitations that are the real fuck offs in the scenario. When you hear background vocals singing, "Shrugging extinction off," as the song plays out at the end, you're aware that you've been imposing here. You shouldn't have ever been here. We've all made a great mistake in overstating our power, out-staying our welcome and wrecking something so pretty.
"True North," from the group's newest album, "Information Retrieved," is just one part of a collection of songs that take us into an illusory state of mind that feels solvable. We're in these places of pre-ruin, where the waters are still mostly clean, the land still fertile and the people still mostly operable and capable of making and taking nourishment, but there's a strange feeling about it all that we're not going to be gleefully splashing around in the ocean or having such an easy time of anything for very much longer.
"Daylight embracing darkness always
Feels like they're racing death to the porch
Crust of the Earth is flaking off
Changing the time zones, confusing the true north
Here is the note I won't avoid
Hear when I say this now
When static is all that's left on the phone
Feel free to change the channel
Healing factor turning on
Take your pills, let's get it off another day
When it's time to go outside
Please leave your shades at home
You look like such a dick sometimes
Yeah, look who's talking, I know
We all wanna go out and play
And know that it's not
And know that it's nothing
We all wanna go out and play
It's not that bizarre
Know that it's nothing
Starlight is blazing and it's the only
Source of illumination of course
Weight of the humans taken off
Shedding the ozone, finding a new home
This is the number, please look it over
Everything else is just a distractor."
Fuck. We're doomed.