Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The night that we had last night was okay at the end, kind of a miracle, considering the day that preceded it. It's always curious how some bright sparkles can come out of such gloomy bullshit sometimes. You're thankful for it, but it still strikes as being senseless. It might just be that we tend to live for the senselessness of our lives. It's most thrilling for us when we don't see it coming and we have no explanation for it when it arrives. We just let it fall on us. It's hard to argue with a night that ends with laughs, pals, beers, after hours BBQ, "Super Troopers" on the hotel cable and an earlier than expected date with the pillow, but it's nothing compared to the nights that Matt Sheehy of Lost Lander sings about on "Cold Feet" or "State Trooper," on the Portland band's excellent debut album.
The night that comes forth out of the mysteriousness of "State Trooper," is one a little closer to the one we experienced last night, where you're just hoping that it can't get any worse, all the while still acknowledging some parts of the chaos and mess as being oddly pretty. Sheehy sings, almost lovingly about the glowing refinery, as if it were a bakery in the dark of morning, smelling of rising bread, or of a welcome site in the middle of a bleary-eyed drive. Really, it's a maker of the black river snaking out from behind it, like a devil's tail. It's nothing to love, but it looks pretty in the dark. The main protagonist in the song is just hoping not to be pulled over by the cops. It's hard to tell if he's done anything wrong or he just wants to get away from there as quickly as possible. He sings, "I've got a clean conscience about all the things that I've done," but just because someone says that doesn't mean they've not erred. He probably should be pulled over, but the truth of it is that there are worse offenders. Take that glowing refinery, for instance.
Sheehy, a forester when he's not traveling around playing in the band, brings an epic Zen feeling to "Cold Feet," making that night feel like the one that you just want to grab you and take you as its own. It's a story about being overwhelmed. It's a story about going a bit mad, the eyes and brain shorting out - energy drained. It's a story about just wanting to live in THIS, in the second, in oneself for just a little while. There's no illusion that it will last, but it would be nice to feel something good and less charged. It would be good to just feel the blood flowing and the eyes blinking, the soft thrum of a head tilting to look at something off to the side. Sheehy sings, "For a while, I'll keep my place/And tonight I'll stay so late." He's worried about "a million tiny flashlights," needing to turn them off, needing to retreat. We understand completely.