Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The way that UK band To Kill A King look at it, this is all a runaround. Everything that we worry about, all of the tangles that we have to work out, the rivers that we have to cross, the people we have to put before ourselves or cater to, those that we have to love, those that we have to accept love from, all of the chasms that we have to leap, all of the bridges that we have to unburn is a bit of a ruse.
It's some wild escapade that we all have to have. Some make it wilder than it need be - perhaps just maximizing the time they have, or more often just accentuating how inept they are at getting through. All that matters is how you deal with the disorderly tendencies of life - how you let them behave and how you get them to purr for you instead of slashing and biting.
A song like "Funeral" is a good snapshot at just how one might look at getting through their time, what the objective should be, if one is needed for clerical, justification purposes. Is living just meant for the payoff of that second you're gone, when no one can believe that you're not with them any longer, when they're suddenly faced with the thought of having to miss you for the rest of their own lives, now put into a new perspective? If it's meant for that sort of ending, is that really any kind of payoff at all - for the epitaph on a gravestone? Lead singer Ralph Pelleymounter sings about such a striving, offering, "I must make more friends/They'll be hanging out at my funeral/Just to make my parents proud/Just to make my parents smile." It could be that this is all that one should go for, but it leaves much to be desired.
The band seems to write about endings before they are even glimmers in their mother's eyes. They write about them, when they're still beginnings, drawing them out into narratives that take us into the process of nurturing that personal decomposition that comes to find us. It's when we start really feeling the years setting in that it takes hold, that we recognize the parts we've played, along with the parts all others have played. Pelleymounter sings, "You never took away my crutch/You just became it day by day/Blood filling up our bones/What's the use in talking?/Eyes are open finally/All you want to do is walk/This is how the summer ends/And I had the same choices as you do/As you do when you fall/And fall like I knew you would/Lay me down." There's no kidding ourselves.