Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
Just strolling down the road of bad luck and stories that match, here. There's no telling where the next one is going to come from, but it's bound to be another dandy, an epic story of loss and madness.
Jack Gibson, the lead singer and songwriter for the Austin, Texas, band Tenlons Fort, or Tenlons BRONCO as he's fond of cooing on this session, writes in a manner makes the trouble feel manic. It's despair and hard luck that feels as if it should be fought. With enough squirming and active repulsion, there might be a chance that it could be overcome. With enough distance put between him and these problems, they just might go away - though such a thought, we've learned from our own experiences and countless movies doesn't usually pan out. Tussling with problems has a chance of working, but outrunning them rarely does.
The characters that Gibson brings to life are people who have had their bells rung, but they're trying to keep moving. They've got some mania in them. They are just trying to process what's been hitting them, what's been smacking into their windows at night, what's been hiding under their beds, what's been making them fall all completely apart. They feel splintered and they feel like they're in the middle of a deluge. The waters are rising and they've had to get up there on the roof to stay dry. They're getting through their disasters as best they can and still, they're a bit wrecked. He sings on "Doctor Said," "Lay down and let me look at your head/You ain't doin' so well/That's what the doctor said," but the way he sings it makes the diagnosis not feel definite. There still could be a shot to get out of the tangles, to heal decently enough and not live in such an itchy coat of skin.