Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Time's nothing if it's not honest. It's never really deceptive. A minute is a minute and a year's a year and it goes on and on like that forever. There are perceptions of time, but they're often wrong, aren't they? Nothing's moving faster or slower. Time is not flying. We're just too busy. Time marches on like a steady leak, hissing out from a tire or the ass of a balloon. Just as the air does, all time wants is to relieve itself from its containment and get back with the rest that's gone missing. It's aging through time that gets a little funny too. Suddenly, and before many people know it, they're no longer youngsters. They've gone off and become the in-between versions of themselves, stuck in purgatory between young and old and it's unsettling, at best.
The songs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, band Young Statues is a little like that middle space where there's no going back, only a great desire to do such a thing. Lead singer Carmen Cirignano considers what it's like to be a kid, while being nothing like a kid anymore, using the term frequently in his writing. He puts us face-to-face with the conundrum of not knowing what's expected or what an appropriate way to behave might be. He sings, "I'll hang you safely on the wall now/Don't be calling your voice a letdown/I waited up/I never knew if kids our age give enough and I was on the fence with all my loose ends/I could be your shiny new plan/You would think that I would stop/To be fair/I don't care." It's all just hanging in the balance. There's no certainty. It's not just a question of how much are you supposed to tip a waiter or waitress after a meal, that Cirignano seems to be getting at, nor is it a broader thought of the lack of effort that might come from the "kids our age," that he sings about. It's about testing all kinds of new waters without any form of a crib sheet.
There's no way of knowing how an individual is going to react or behave to anything. It's all mysterious and vague. It's going to play out in interesting ways, most likely. There's a thought that people need their wits, that they need to test their hearts and their resolve. They need to find ways to fill the hours that get too boring or that feel too long. They need to not make it feel like work. Young Statues make these trying transitions bearable. They give us guidance, taking us through those corridors together. Cirignano sings, "We don't know if that party will get out of hand tonight," but he knows that the people throwing it have money, so there's bound to be drugs. I think what we're trying to say here is that the party's going to get out of hand. All of this is bound to get out of hand. There's no work-around.