Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
What's not to love in a band that can have a series of lines such as, "Baby, shut my mouth for me/Baby, crash my car for me/Baby, toe that line for me/Baby, do it all for me…Baby, cut my throat for me/And I will grin from ear-to-ear/Baby, take my blood from me/Baby, end it all for me," and still make it feel like as sincere of an admission of pure, unadulterated love and adoration? These words come from St. Louis-based band Theodore and they are indicative of the kind of fusion of moodiness and romance that it pairs up regularly on its albums. The four members pack solemn depression (as on new song "Save For Me") with pissed energy better than most, leaning on the sides of aggression and beautiful compassion and brokenness to an effect that makes all of the force feel and sound wonderfully wounded, as if we're getting to see these people at their most fragile. It's in this place where bitterness is waning somewhat and cheeks are stroked, heads are brought to shoulders and people are starting to care more about the other than they ever have at any other time in their lives. It's just beyond the breaking points, most of these Theodore songs, where the artifice and the fakery are replaced with bare skin and unmistakably pumping chests. It seems as if the characters - though they're not characters at all - are learning everything they're learning the hardest way possible, thinking hard about everything they have to think about. Things get turbulent and potentially violent, as voices shake and quaver. People get hurt. Threats are made and some of them are carried out, most are left to rot. It's not really healthy, but it's not as if these people are asking for or expecting healthy in these fucked up situations. There's a whore's dress that's worn in the last line of the sad and almost scary song, "Back From The War," as a couple that used to act so much different toward each other is having to deal with one's new civilian life, a lack of killing, a lack of conversation, strained love and now planning on going out on the town, in style, to see if they can forget infidelities and horrors to maybe be like they used to be. It feels like it might be false hope, but it's hope nonetheless. Theodore bring us into these heads and rooms where we don't belong and we can't help but want to stay and see what happens - and see who makes it out of their own head or the room less black and blue.
Theodore Official Site