The reason that a person brings in a stray or wounded animal is different on every occasion it happens, other than with the ladies who do such a thing every time another poor and helpless creature happens upon her stoop and she's turned her cozy residence into a piss-smelling playground for any fur ball that wants three squares and a dry place to lay its head. Some of the most common reasons for doing so revolve around a compassionate heart (they can't help themselves - those hearts can't), one that believes in the reincarnation of the soul, one that can't look into a mewing face of a kitty with a matted coat and a slight limp or at a doggy with an eye filled with gunk and rib bones protruding on its sides without wanting to bring them in out of the cold and fattening them up. Before long, everyone's attached and there's no way of parting - there's just no way of doing it. The animals have broken their rescuers and will be living the good life for as long as they want to remain loyal - even when the back screen door is left unmanned or the hole that could get them underneath the wood fence in the backyard is deep enough, the light of freedom for whatever's it's worth is shining through. Los Angeles band Everest isn't at all pitiful like these animals we speak of, these moochers and these cast away stragglers, but it reminds us of these reasons for extending hearts and for giving over to the tender connections that can bind people or can be bound by a shared warmth. The protagonists in an Everest song aren't as down and out as a cat left out in the dripping rain or a dog shunned and forgotten without food for a week, but they are roaming the streets - both figuratively and literally - resolute in their determination, but immeasurably without much guidance to make sure that the night doesn't end with the same set of circumstances and the same heavy spirits haunting their insides, there to live out another day in their skin. They are basked in a moonlight that sometimes can burn or leave a scent, the way sleep does in the morning, telling all that things just aren't perfectly normal. It's in the voice and the posture, as well as the shadow cast and somber stretch of the limbs that a sad fate has befallen these walking wounded. They've been left for dead and they've been lied to. They've been walked all over and they've been the victims of other people who have moved on, leaving them clinging to old thoughts and old comforts that frequently can't be tendered any longer. Lead singer Russell Pollard leads a superstar group of some of the finest players in the city (guitarist Jason Soda, guitarist Joel Graves, bassist Elijah Thomson and drummer Davey Latter) with his lilting voice that doesn't ever drum upon the ruin that the folks in his songs have gone through or are currently going through, but offers a sort of convalescent potion that suggests that times were tougher than they are now and that's really some kind of a recovery. It's a recovery, or the process of, that comes out in these songs - where people are still lost in the dark and banging their shins silently against coffee tables and pulling their hair out, but they're still fighting the inertia and the entropy that could keep them in that state for much, much longer. Pollard sings at the beginning of the exquisite songs "Rebels in the Roses," "If you find me, I'll be yours in a heartbeat," and it likens the mood to one of a disclaimer and one of a plea for a return to love as it used to be known. It feels like a bed of pine needles where rest can be had and where the morning that comes next could be the turnaround, when everything is back on track.