Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs
It's hard to tell if The Static Jacks want us to believe that the world is ending or that we should just behave as if it is. I have a feeling that it's the latter. The skies that lead singer, Ian Devaney sings about all seem to be on fire. They've been doused with gasoline and lit from the bottom, the whole, formerly blue panorama exploding into a yearning and burning orange. Everything feels urgent and it seems that a good, stiff wind, coming from the wrong direction could just stoke the whole thing hotter and wilder in no time. People are feeling pressed to the ground and pinned up against the wall, trying to buck what is trying to be foisted upon them. They are simply folks caught in the nets of what they want and what everyone one wants for them or thinks they should be wanting, in place of what they actually do.
There are a lot of hollow lines and things being done that are nothing more than just going through the motions, feeling the muscle memory just continue what it's always known, what it's been doing for so long. It might be wrong, but it's been right, or acceptable for so long, that there's no breaking the habit. This comes in the form of characters in Static Jacks songs moving in or moving out on one another. There's very little stability, with the night capable of blowing up and shattering all of the windows without notice, though one could always claim that there was a lot leading up to it. They are buildups, finally let loose and taking over.
The songs, as Devaney, guitarist Henry Kaye, guitarist Michael Sue-Poi and drummer Nick Brennan play them, come out as the confessionals that nobody wanted to ever have to confess and still those that everyone knew were coming. They are songs straight from the restless hearts of people still trying to get their feet beneath them They are banging their heads against walls and staring at themselves in mirrors, wondering about just what they're looking at. It couldn't be more perfect that, at one point in the session, they transition into Springsteen's "Born To Run," as the pent-up energy just boiled out and over and you feel like throwing on a helmet and a motorcycle jacket and hopping on a chopper heading in whichever direction has the wind and the sun at your back.
As Devaney sings, "Sometimes we just need to find a new way through the dark." But even with all the trying, even with all of the efforts made, sometimes there's just nothing that works. Sometimes you just say, "Goddamn fate kills me, darlin'," and you torch something and then tear out of the parking lot, watching the glow from the rearview window as the concrete blurs below.