Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineering by Mike Gentry
The thing that we struggle with the greatest is our eventual awakening. It's what separates us - in such a negative way - from the rest of the animal kingdom. We are and always have been these walking knots of instincts and we sell ourselves short on what we think we know or what we consider to be irrational feelings and urges. We grow out of things, out of our childish tendencies, or we never do. It takes us so long sometimes to grow out of anything, but our clothing, and other people give up on us, rightly so. We keep right on stumbling and making asses of ourselves, even when we have those people around us pointing us in the right direction, twiddling their thumbs and wondering when any sense is going to finally get knocked into our heads. There are those of us who shape up and wow others with our transformation into respectable members of our society. Our parents start claiming us again. We become attractive for a variety of reasons and there's no turning back. We and everyone else likes what we've become and it was right to have it all happen. It could have happened sooner, but it didn't. Meanwhile, if any old animal acted as irresponsible and wet behind the collar as we did for the longest time, they'd have been another animal's lunch long ago. You just don't survive with rocks and boobs for brains for all that long.
Washington, D.C. band U.S. Royalty skates this interesting line where they sing about Hollywood glamour, kings, princes, horses and the refined (mind you that they sing just as much about any of the lovelorn and heartbroken), those who have been finished off, rubbed free of all the jagged edges and the roughhewn pieces, but they also make it seem as if these folks face the same kind of melancholy as anyone else. They've got to get to those spots where they can grow into their own skins. It's the purpose for all and yet there's substantial running around and running from things that we're not entirely ready to deal with just yet. Those in U.S. Royalty songs are screaming out into the night when things get heated and rainy, when they get difficult and hard to mend. They are punching the air and they're finding that none of the roads they've been traveling on, or those that they're turning onto, have been repaired in a long time. They're finding that they've been up shit creeks and they've been dangling from the sides of rocky cliffs when they've decided to wisely change something up to remedy what's been happening. Lead singer John Thornley sings on "Equestrian," "I slept in hills of wheat and pine/Too many years have passed me by/I come down from the mountain," and with the last part of the verse, it suddenly feels that something's washed over these people and they're going to be better from here on out. They've moved beyond the witching hours and the spells that have been cast and they're suddenly aware.