Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Damn if we don't get taken into the pits when we're dealing with a Meridene album. We get thrown into the trenches of marital distress and the kind of spoiled and rotten personal dramas that fester in people, if just given time and a few tiny factors, and then shower everyone with a sick film that you want to shower off of you the first available second you get to do so. Lead singer Trevor Ives gets right down and intimate with the hobbled relationships that are doomed to get tossed into the garbage, but even so, they're doomed to be repeated and doomed to be reacted to, manipulative and hurtful for much longer than is necessary. The break-ups, or near break-ups that Ives seems to find most fascinating are the ones that are bound to leave serious scarring, damage that will not be undone anytime soon. We are treated to love trouble happening between two people - on multiple occasions - who are going to fail at what they're doing. They will not be able to make it work, because they've never had one work yet and they're starting to realize that no one's to blame. They're bad at it, the other interested party involved is bad at it and there's not much hope that there will be any improvement - at least not enough to fix anything or alter the consequences much. Ives' description of the contents of the song "Parade of Fools," from the band's autumn release, "Something Like Blood," are telling in his general appreciation for the hard struggles that are anything but extraordinary or hard to find. He writes about how the song is "about choosing to be ignorant about the relationship you are in, because it's easier to pretend that everything's fine than deal with what's happening when you're not together. It's a dramatization of a real relationship of someone I knew. I was trying to get into that headspace, to figure out what would motivate someone to be so easily forgiving of such blatant indiscretions, and could only come up with two answers -- either it comes from some deep need for constant drama, or pure unadulterated sloth." The song is a beast of a song and it gives us the phrases of "eager thighs" and "lustful moths," pointing us down the path of seeing the impulses of the flesh as being far too powerful to contain, as if there's just something in us that can't remain in check when the pulse quickens for a pretty face, some muscles, long legs or nipples poking out from beneath a shirt. Ives sings about the thighs as if they're conniving foxes, or the chickens that those foxes find as they're raiding henhouses. He sings, "We will live this blissful life/An honest husband/An honest wife/Or so I choose to believe/A taste for pleasure no fear of cost/A taste of pain with pleasure bought/We go on living this lie/Clueless husband/Cheating wife/So we say/We pretend anyway/Oh we like it this way/We wouldn't have it any other way!" This last part, Ives lets his voice take to the harsh undercurrent and even with the words steering us in a different direction, we're feeling the exhaustion and the wretchedness of all that's transpiring. There's not a single good thing happening and yet, they're going to choose to go on with the charade for the indefinite time being. We wish them luck. They will need it and so much more.