Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
There is significance in the nuance of what we're feeling in the center of our bones, in the way that our skin tingles or our hands shake when we hold them straight out in front of our body, in front of our eyes. Some of the jitters could be attributed to the coffee that we pour into our mouths, starting at the very breaking of the day's light. Most of those jitters have nothing to do with the coffee. We're pretty sure that light shuddering of the skin is just the ripple effect of something happening deeper inside, where the shakes are serious business, where there are good reasons for everything and very little is just happenstance. One thing leads to the next and so on. There's a tangled web of intrusions - a consortium of causes and effects. It's all our fault, mostly. We allow ourselves to get this way - too stimulated by worry and ills.
Steven Adams - or Singing Adams, of the London group of the same name - builds stories around these nuances, these feelings of being steeped in the shakes or hoping to be liberated somewhat from them, moving in a different direction altogether. There are many references to having been worse off in the past, throughout these four songs. There were darker and leaner times, when the pallor of the face was sickly and the cheeks were sunken and gaunt. No matter how the characters in these songs might be described presently, they're confident that they look a whole hell of a lot better now than they used to and that - for one thing - is an improvement. It might not be a permanent one, or a lasting one, but improvement is improvement and it should be left at that. Damn it if something's not out there lurking though, just waiting to go for our throats, to drive us back to whence we came.
Adams sings, "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know what we're worried about," here, but he doesn't sound convinced. He seems to know exactly what he's worried about. It's facing it, or admitting it that's so hard to do. He and the others have been cooped up far too long, with their liquor bottles and with their rambling heads, fogging themselves up with theories and situations - all of which or none of which could be any good for them. They tend to be people who enjoy the experimental ways of living - throwing shit against the wall and seeing what it looks like then, seeing if it makes any sort of difference. They like breaking things and feeling like when they do that, they might be fixing other things. It's a weird way to look at things, but they insist on the principle of it, at least somewhat. They see results, as Adams sings, "We started out feeling awful, now we're feeling alright." It could be that there need not have to be more than a simple perception of something having worked.