Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Everything that floods to me when I think about this band that calls itself The End of the World and asks others to do the same, is heavy with the kind of emotion and tingly feeling that people can't just rob other people of no matter how they try and no matter how many times such an attempt is done at gunpoint. It's pickpocket and holdup-proof, the indestructible amalgamation of chiseled optimism and hardened, dusk lighting, which creates the shadowed effect that makes sure not to allow all of the sentiments suggested forth to be free and light, effortless airy and tussled. It's a sound that is alive with all of the tired claims on it, stuffed with all of the live noise - the white noise, the gray noise, the clouded distention of the inner organs that makes them all different types of drowsy - that lies on a body like cigarette smoke trailing in after from an outdoor lighting up, followed by a crushing of the ash butt into a pan of sand or against a walkway. The band actually makes very certain that none of the sentiments are cast out that way, as phantom beacons or of the kinds of upbeat gumminess that lands a person the label of hypocrite with some speediness. They are rooted in the undergrowth and in the five o'clock shadows, as they were, haggard in all of the right ways and drawn toward the disease that nostalgia essentially brings - one that allows a person to believe that things were better and therefore can be just as they once were all over again, or that things never were in a good way and therefore must be poised for a new development that will comply with nothing recognizably past or present tense, sometime in the future sense. Stefan Marolachakis, the lead singer and drummer of the Brooklyn group, has a perpetual smile hanging like a bumper from his mouth. He's a dashing young man taken with the idea of possible, overall happiness as a product of many trials and errors, even if they needn't have happened in the first place, even if they were ill-advised. His life and the one that he sees himself always leading isn't one of following trails already forged or staying within the lines and hence always having some kind of unfair guidance or helping hand (like a lake stocked well over capacity with game fish that are hungry as hell and make no sport of the hunt), but one that becomes clearer and clearer the longer it goes on. It's not about solving the puzzle as quickly as possible for most of the men living in the lyrics that he writes, but about enjoying the puzzle as it corkscrews them up, regurgitates, gets altered and gets forsaken - all before it starts making any goddamn sense. The End of the World, with its own take on the New York garage sound, which is a little bit Walkmen and Strokes as well as Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in unassuming "The Only Living Boy In New York" sorts of ways, flips and echoes, speaks with a beautiful stony voice (like the one that Marolachakis) mentions at the beginning of "Show Your Age," and it goes on from there in many different ways, rubbing your back, buying you more drinks and escorting us all from a room of dim bar light to what exists outside those doors. It's funny what can be found there when the fog has burnt off and you've rubbed all of the sleep from those glassy eyes. Marolachakis, guitarist Benjamin Smith and bassist Sam Axelrod exude what it means to come home late some random night and decide that tomorrow the living of a fuller and better life is going to commence.
The End of the World Official Site