I watched a documentary on the Mothman (“Eyes of the Mothman”) this morning and now every electron that passes through my brain circuitry is officially Mothman related. Some of you might find this desperate, others will find this amusingly disturbing. As for myself? I’m enjoying it just fine. Although I’m looking over my shoulder every few seconds and my bedroom window is wide open just in case I hear the banshee-like scream that this Point Pleasant beast’s wings create.
“Phil, what does this have to do with Sound on the Sound? What does this have to with The Damage Done?”
Why do you think The Damage Done is on an estranged hiatus? Is it because their drummer, Connor moved to Oakland? No, of course not. Life doesn’t come with explanations as easy as “Oh, I’m moving to a different state. How are you going to hear my drums from thousands of miles away?”
I did some investigative reporting and I believe that the Mothman had something to do with this. I believe the Mothman had been stalking The Damage Done during their practices. It has also been reported that the Mothman was spotted wearing Kid Dynamite shirt and hanging out at the on top of the Galway Arms shortly before the bar changed its name to The Kraken. Again, some non-believers will chalk this up to blogosphere nonsense but the people whose lives have been affected semi-permanently will say otherwise.
Why wouldn’t Mothman stalk The Damage Done?
Are they not one of the better live musical acts in the Pacific Northwest? Do they not leave it all on the stage every single time they perform? Are their songs not equal parts punk sing-a-long and rhythmic chaos? If you tell me that your heart doesn’t beat a little faster every time you hear “Tour de Force” or that your suddenly not changing your career path to become a “Washington State Forklift Champion,” then I consider a fraudulent scoundrel. The Lifetime-esque breakdown in the latter song gets me every time. The question must be asked though, is there really a forklift championship tournament in this state? Is there an oversight committee that ensures that there is no foul play? “A Sandwich AND a Pizza” doesn’t just describe an appetizer for me after a long night on the town. It’s also not “just a song” that features the best punk breakdown on the album. This song probably has the most touching, heartfelt lyrics on the album in my opinion. They are as follows:
“It’s more than just a little mystifying to realize the pain you’re capable of causing those you love. We built these walls around us out of pieces of our old ones, forgotten precedents you set, and ideals that you smashed. We shined them up all nice and new, mortared bricks and tightened screws. We worked so hard to build this life together. We shined it up all nice and new, mortared bricks and tightened screws, we work so hard to keep it together. My wife says not to think too much about the failures of our parents or we’re doomed to make those same mistakes ourselves. But I suppose you’ve earned a little selfish time, after all you gave to raise us up so well. Maybe you built these walls around us out of pieces of your old ones. Forgotten precedents they set, ideals that they smashed. Maybe you shined them up all nice and new, mortared bricks and tightened screws, maybe you worked so hard. Work so hard to make my love so proud, work so hard. Work so hard to make my sons so proud, work so hard. Work so hard to make my brother proud, work so hard.”
Gentle readers (who may or may not have tears in their eyes at this point), how can you not identify with the aforementioned sentiment? Maybe your parents didn’t fail you but somebody else did. Maybe it was you that let someone else down despite working so hard not to.
The album ends with a re-recorded version of “Earth Gears and Fixed Tones” which is quite different the its previous “rocking” incarnation. This new take features horns, sung-not-screamed vocals and acoustic guitars. If you’re a fan of Samiam’s The New Red Years, then you’re going to love this gem.