Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's a deceptive line that Van Pierszalowski tosses out to us. It's a lifesaver tied tight to the end of a frayed rope with sharp slivers jutting out from its entire surface, shooting into our needy palms like shocks and carnivores. It's a deception that applies to two of his most picked upon subjects (the hearts displacement or distrust and the great big oceans) as well as to a personal demeanor that always seems as if it's just come off of a lengthy vacation or just started on one. It's cool and calm and dry across the forehead not a worry line or a care to weight him down. It's as deceiving as it gets, for the man of such slinky blond hair easily tossed and easily hanging and the properly wined air is as turbulent as a storm-charged body of water. The lead singer of California band Port OBrien hides his insecurities and worries well in daily interactions, and pretends they arent there alive and ugly when hes just sitting around in leisurely recline, but theyre there and responsible for the emotional and moving content that he packs into his bands albums. "Threadbare," the group's latest full-length, which was released on the very same day that they recorded this session this past October, is a record that embraces that shakiness, that unsure hand and that wounded heart as the pained eyes search out what it really means to make it through trying times without totally losing your shit and breaking windows or violently knocking lamps from their perches to shattered pieces on the ground in fits of frustration. Isnt one of the most awesome and scary thoughts something like, How am I going to go? Whats going to finally be the thing thats going to destroy me and end all of my facilities? It's almost as if that was the question that Pierszalowski, Cambria Goodwin, Ryan Stively and on this tour and since Two Gallants drummer Tyson Vogel and former Rogue Wave/current Golden Gram player Gram Lebron were born to seek an answer for. It's as if this cryptic and indecipherable question is exactly what haunts their halls and makes the bumps in the night that keep their eyes bloodshot and alert, or half alert. It's almost like Pierszalowski is throwing these darts out there, in the cold darkness of a night, like hes lost on one of those endless seas that hes been intimate with since his youth working the fishing boats in the summer. It's a different world the one that you can look out upon when youre on-board a ship in the middle of an undulating and skiddish body of water, rippling and snorting its distaste and restlessness as there is no land in sight. The things that one thinks in the middle of something like nothingness, something like illusion and something like a helplessness that could, in a whim, swallow you so quickly that no one would ever find you are the things that will burn into you and never really leave you alone. They will eat you and they will comfort you as the enormity of the universe seems to make everything else pale. Port OBrien bring this fear of the almighty expanse and the worrisome notion that anything we do and anyone we proclaim our love to could still result in us being handed more of the nothingness that were trying to get away from. It can rack us and it can steady us, all at the same time, as we take on our own deceptive casings.
Port OBrien Official Site