Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Since there are winners, there are losers as well, as far as the eye can see. It's the simplest and cleanest way to think about fights, those of passion and illogic and those of blood and more illogic. There are fights and then there are fights of the least concern, where there is no undisputed victor, when the belt or the trophy remains vacant until something can be made more resolute, until the dispute's clawed its way out of the halls of purgatory, where all is a shade of the same color and the bickering is a swell of distortion.
It's all a pithy absolute in a pissing match, when vulnerable hearts are those with the trunks, the Vaseline on the brows and bridges of noses and the gloves on, ready to duke it out and let the feathers fly into a blinding maelstrom of all that will be held over unforgivable heads. These struggles - both personal and those involving outside principles that get stickier and sketchier - are often the stuffs of relatively youthful transition, when men and women are able to put their own feet down for their own feelings for the first time, when they're finally able to call their own shots. This does not always go so well and there are falls and chipped teeth. There is staring, vacant and lost.
There is time that gets eaten up by strife and worrisome conditions and confessions, searching and dramatic effect. A fight within always eeks out through the sockets, grows out through the hair and the fingernails, is seen in the whites of eyes and flies out of mouths, springboarding from pinked tongues at the least opportune times. These very same matters and these very same moments are the currency of the suburban Chicago band The Hush Sound, though it's a money that is valued differently by everyone who has it pressed into their hand. Largely, the situations and confrontations that singers Bob Morris and Greta Salpeter offer are those of the struggles that set in most notably when people are discovering themselves around other people doing the same thing.
The songs on Goodbye Blues have a sense of defiant confrontation with relationships that they've been living and putting up with for far too long. Good relationships sometimes don't last forever, but then sometimes bad relationships do, defying what should become of them. What happens often for The Hush Sound, as the four-piece filled out by drummer Darren Wilson and bassist Mike LeBlanc, or for their protagonists at least is a very assertive counterpunch is thrown somewhere along the way and the ties get severed between the poison and the person. As the barroom piano and the power-pop sweetwater are driving the catchiness, the people in the songs are wagging a finger and finally suggesting that there will be no more pacifism in these parts.
Reacquisition of the feeling in the fingers and in the toes, a flush coming back into the face is the sign that the property of emotion is not the victim of a stick-up any longer. The medicine man is not able to cast the spells that he used to and following him anywhere like a lemming is not going to be the scene. Happiness isn't monopolized by a side and delighted in by the other only at designated feeding times. This suddenly removes many of the wins and losses and brings forth the stalemates that are alright sometimes, when the used souls are allowed to regenerate and move along. There's no easy way to ease the pain, the band suggests, and there's really no easy way to finish a final sentence but with the punctuation that comes to you when looking that other in the face and just saying, "The end," with a straight face awaiting its first relief in months or longer. The fight for the happy ending never ends, or does it?