Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
"Our blood is our own/It does what it pleases/And there ain't much more to say/I'm alive on the highway/Dead on arriving/That's no way to live this life." - "Dog Eaten"
Justin Kinkel-Schuster of Water Liars sings these lines as if he had his hands in his empty pockets, dead-tired, with a thunderous hunger in his belly, with no one but himself to count on to do anything about it, with empty hands and messy, greasy hair, with tumult brewing, with it arriving, with a heart that still finds that it beats for a reason, for a good reason, one that it can place occasionally and all of the rest of the time it spends searching for the scent, for the trail. He sings these lines like a man who harbors no ill will, but one who can sense that others have it easier than he does and, while that's rotten, in a way, there's just nothing more than you can say about it. You're stuck with your own blood and it does what it pleases.
If you think that you've already had your fair share of disappointments, you're wrong. There will be plenty of times when the blood you have and the things that it decides to make you do, are not going to be the things you want to do and you'll be sore at the blood, wishing for that of another. You'll be let down and you'll be left out in the cold, but you'll get by with the trace amounts of beauty that keep people going.
Kinkel-Schuster sings, "She laid on my shoulder/She nibbled on my earlobe and that was about all." It's a moment that almost cancels itself out, but he and bandmate Andrew Bryant make it feel somewhat exceptional, mostly dreamy, as if this were good enough - to feel the weight of a pretty head against our alert shoulder and having those teeth and that tongue creep closer, making everything in our body feel as alive as it's ever felt.