Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
When you see a pooch hanging its furry face out of the cracked window of a moving automobile - preferably a truck - it's hard not to think, "I wonder what what's going through that dog's mind right now," with the strings of slobber catching the breeze and tumbling through the air, slapping against the concrete or trailing windshields. There they are, sitting proud in the passenger's seat, with a neck pinched down on the bottom of the window, letting the wind flap its jowls and beat back its coat - the force so strong that it can't even keep its eyes open. It must just be that sensation of something invisible acting on it, something that they can't define or comprehend in their little heads, something that they don't mind happening to them at all. They just take the massage as it comes to them, just as they take their food, their walks and their scratches. They are whiners, but the can't be choosers.
Columbus, Ohio, band Saintseneca sometimes lets the wind hit them however it wants to hit them - full-on, partially and with varying forces - and then other times it really wants to know why the wind is there and why it's doing what it's doing to them. With a light and airy, bluegrass and folk tone, the band finds a way of digging deep into those important matters that separate the men from the beasts, or actually remind us that we're all unavoidably some of both. The way that we find ourselves digging into a chicken leg or a plate of ribs - the sounds that the teeth make as it rips the meat from the bone and chews it -- makes us stop and know just how close we are, how we're saddled with this bedeviling consciousness that makes us have to think about everything - the symptoms we feel and the repercussions we affect.
The band's lead singer, Zac Little, sings these intricate songs of need and shaky hands, these testimonials to just not knowing what we're supposed to be doing with this need or with these shaky hands. He sings, "I was humming human hymns/I'll never get over them," and in those words, we hear a man lit up by the ingrained parts of spirit that we all inherit and don't know where they came from. We just know that they're supposed to be there, or we're just happy to have them to rub together. There is always going to be so much that we'll never learn about the invisible pangs and forces that work over us - why we feel glum when some do and why we like the way others feel. We just throw our necks out there and think a variation of why Little sings in "On Or No," "How could anything be worth this/How could anything be worthless." The answer is that it can't be, but there's no way to prove it.