Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The Royal Baths are consistent with their chatter. They are efficient with it as it hurls out of them like a hailstorm. It's a blistering blanket of disgruntled magic that comes out of the wasteland of middle and lower class living, when people are forced into their slots on the ladder and forced to observe the hierarchy. The Brooklyn band is also consistent with the way in which they go about the business of stumping for the little guy, for the scrubby guy, for those who tend to get stomped on a little bit. They're fighting for those who have been resigned not too fight much any more. The tone of the new songs that they taped at Big Orange in Austin last year is that of a group of young people wanting to stuff the blade of a knife into all four tires of the boss' car, as it sits in the parking lot - all shine and smugness. They'd like to stuff a mailbox full of poop. They are sick of the stiff collars and they're damned tired of the junk that they're put through, those demeaning orders and the snide looks on faces - from people who have it exponentially better for very few good reasons.
There's also a tinge of something else in a song like, "Burning," where it can't be determined where the chips are going to fall. It feels like there are a thousand dominoes set up on their flat bottoms and there's no telling when or who is going to tip them, splashing to their inevitable washout, to silence at the end of the chain. The Royal Baths scold us to "never let the man push you around." It's easier said than done, though, as the next line describes the exact opposite result, where the speaker absolutely let the man push him around. Immediately following, he's back to his stance about never, ever getting burned again. We know how that's gonna end. It's this frustration, this part of society, that probably won't diminish. There are always going to be those who stifle and those who have to take it and just rip down the curtains and set them on fire in their minds, taking a golf club (one of the man's clubs!) through a window. "The burns, burns eat you up," they sing and remind us elsewhere that, "the brightness inside you will never see the air." It's just another way of talking about the blues and those burns. Do with them what you will, but learn to live with them. It's all there is.