Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's funny when a guy gets to the point in his life when he uses his wife as an excuse to not have to go out with the guys, when he wishes he could, but they know how it is, with the honey-do lists and the overbearing ruthlessness of the woman he lives and has children with. He is under lock and key and there's just nothing the poor son of a bitch can do about her wrath, were he to disobey her once again. It's funny when a man starts to refer to himself as an old man, when his wife is his old lady and when he knows full well that he's not going to make it past the 10 o'clock news. It's this understood transition from a person who lets everything happen when it wants to happens and for however long it should want to happen, to a person who gets worked over, to a person who will never again redeem his youth and he's totally and completely fine with that. He's getting older. He has a wife and a family. He knows how he got here and he takes full responsibility. He likes passing on the meet up at the bar, to just sit on his couch, drinking beers solo. He likes saying that he's going to have to spend his entire Saturday doing yard work.
This all just comes with the years, with an accumulation of time and when it comes to Scott Lucas & The Married Men, we hear in these mostly domestic-like tales, these sorts of men, with perhaps just a little more instability and turmoil in their lives. You can tell, however, that these are men dealing with love and women, not boys. These are sophisticated diagnostics of what happens when people do more than flirt. These are tales about what happens when there's been some real committal going on, when it's nothing that can just brush off, when you might not be getting super old with someone, but there's no doubt that you are aging partially with them, and those years could be measured more like we measure dog years.
Lucas, the frontman for the under-appreciated Chicago group Local H, here displays his spectacular knack for writing and big hooks, giving these songs splash and unbelievable humility. He sings, "Tell the untold tale of girl and boy/Where we wind up chewed up puppy toys…/I like to meet your steady gaze/Inhale your heady haze," on this session's first song and he carries us right into these lives of mutual appreciation, ongoing struggle and what seems like genuine love that can only come when everyone's experienced, when no one's getting any younger.