“It actually sounds ‘good’,” Gavin was roughly telling a friend, coming home from first hearing the lost disc you have in your paws. “Why did I break up the band?” Well isn’t that a funny one? Those totally important reasons at the time are either top secret or long forgotten, and sure as hell don’t weigh a squirt now – in the grand scheme of things, anyway. All we know for sure is that the Maybellines died in what Brent and others – including myself considered the band’s prime, their moment of keen possibility. Whether or not you think that’s a good thing probably flirts with your ideas of suicide: isn’t it always better to jump off the gerbil wheel before you fall on your furry, fat face? That way, at least, you can say you ‘didn’t’ try – a generational thing too many of us understand.
I agree with Gavin more than I expected, Gavin with the free middle finger for the cameras. This album is the shit. Brent’s voice is delightfully confident, exploring that stage when all of us first correctly thoughtbeing older and grittier was cool. The cusp of maturity, embracing the music of our blood, knowing that the world is covered in dirt that used to be alive and moving around somewhere.
You can hear Mr. Oliver’s mentors perfectly in his songs, but the lyrics, and this goes for Gav, too, remind me of so many fucking things around here it chills my skeleton. “Thinkin’ about you,” indeed: The band kicking ass wrapped in chicken wire at the Dog. Penny’s hot Maybellines stickers looking up and down at us from unclean toilets and tanks around the town.
Awesomely cruddy cowboy hats on chicks so hot, relationships turned into tissue paper photocopies, seconds before arainstorm. The magic strangeness of Miles Walmsley. And all that money wasted on beer. Finally, Brent’s stunned heartbreak when it ended. But, look, it didn’t end, did it? The tremendous mix on this elaborate post-country tombstone says that actually – something new just started. You grasp here an incredible thing. It’s a refusal to just let something go, that overused mantra of the spineless.
On behalf of many, I raise a glass.
– Fish Griwkowsky