Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
To differentiate the highs and the lows in Star & Micey songs takes a close ear. It takes understanding that some highs aren't necessarily good and some lows are actually better, or more beneficial, than any highs ever could be. The group from Memphis cuts close to the bone, removing all of the fat that they probably could have left in their stories, for narrative purposes, to fill out an ambiguous quota that could prop the thoughts of neglect or euphoria equally.
The way that guitarist/vocalist/percussionist Joshua Cosby, bassist/vocalist/percussionist Geoff Smith and guitarist/vocalist/percussionist Nick Redmond write is accustomed to leaving things out, maybe just winking or nodding at them, giving us the down and dirty specifics, without the bush or the beating of it. In a way, it makes this succinct and impressive bluegrass/folk numbers even more telling. The songs don't last very long at all - most barely go past two minutes - and yet they give us pages and pages of back story with just a few short verses. They are here and gone, the fleeting thought that ends when they've gotten what they want out of the consideration, out of digging in and poking at the sore spots. These are lives shown in abbreviated segments, though there's never any doubt that they come from extensive histories of woe and the observation of it. They are people who a bitten. They are people who have seen the cruelties of luck and become exhausted at the idea that there's anything that can be done to affect the fates.
The Star & Micey boys sing, "If it's the bottom you want/Well then be my guest/It takes a man to admit when he's had enough," on "No Pets Allowed," before continuing with a dismissive and somewhat depressing aside that if anyone's planning on the universe cutting them a break and giving them one of those second chances that people sometimes talk about, they're just kidding themselves. They're more than doubtful, so it's left that you make do, you don't question. You find balance between happiness and sadness. You escape, if not avoid trouble altogether in whatever way you can, for Star & Micey sing, "Trust me, every good man's got something to hide to stay peaceful."