There was a time when I was young. Hours and minutes and seconds and days where this volatile mass (mess?) of feeling felt ready to explode into tiny shards leaving me crumpled (crippled?) on the floor of that cinder block room on the third floor. The chiming and screeching guitars, dancing signatures moving back and forth between times, and indistinct voices describing my thoughts––no––my feelings reverberated in the hallways, hell, just off of those blocks and back into my head; infinite echoes of loss and hope and despair and joy and everything. A world tied up in simplicity and complexity.
If music has memory then it also keeps emotion tucked away within its grooves and lines. The needle in front of me is translating a depth of emotional memory that I didn't know existed in this specific collection of songs. A record I rarely took the time to enjoy and understand evokes ideas and responses that I might include in other lyrical tomes, surprising me. Scaring me, even.
The liner notes tonight gave particular insight into a history I half understood and knew, but placed it into the correct time, improving what I know while sharing an emotional connection with feelings felt and experiences experienced nearly two whole decades before my current seat and place. Crossing space and time is a bitch. And that's why this feels so... cold? Numbing? Invigorating? Rejuvenating? Inspiring.
Why isn't music written like this anymore? No gut, no viscerality, no honesty. How have gut reactions changed so drastically in such little time? Why does it take so much in the current "modern" age to evoke this sort of emotion? Heartache used to be caused by personal relationships and a band could go into the studio and their lead vocalist change the lyrics on the spot to fit the pain or not. React. React. React. Not anymore.
Right there. That wall of distorted guitar and thousands of layered vocals imposing their raw feeling on you. That's it. That's what's missing. You understand the weight and force of things in this way:
The dissonance tells you something is wrong, the vocals plead, the repeated guitar lines lead you along that dark path while the bass provides a solid floor to walk on. When change comes you might not expect it, but you understand it and bear its weight because you are human and strong and its all you can do. Did it destroy your mind and rebuild it yet? It should have. If it didn't then someone is doing something wrong. Maybe it's you. It's probably you. Either for choosing this record or for not getting it.
If you don't get it, get out.
This was a unique moment in history. This record was a special moment in history. This listening was a delayed moment in history. This band is left to history.