Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The charm has gone ahead and worn itself off of all of the places and the people detailed in these Youth of the Beast songs. Granted, there might not have been much to the charm that they originally had anyway, but it's been sanded down and eroded to so little now that it's just a faint remembrance.
There's a weariness here that feels like a eulogized depiction of what once was, back when things used to be a little better and now there's just a motion toward the memorial, toward the rusty undercarriage and toward the leftovers. The Californian band leaves you gazing out at what's still left to see and what's still left to feel from the old haunts and hot spots. They acknowledge that it's "freezing on Rust Belt streets," and you can tell that it's real, that there is a chill in the air that's hard to ignore. There are shells of spirits and there are disappointments lining those streets, like mailboxes and telephone poles, spaced out with precise gaps in between them.
These are now places where little makes sense, other than its brokenness and its squalor. It's sung that the "spoils here go to cads and creeps and it's not quite what they sold ya," giving us a view of something that feels just barely pre-apocalyptic. People are fending as best as they can - hunting at night, staying cool in the day, or just leaving it all behind for something different. There's a half-hearted hope that it might be something better, but they'll go down blazing, to the words of Youth of the Beast, who give us the lines, "Sing my children/You won't let me down/Raise your glass as we go underground/Those who make it will know what they've found/Shooting our guns off in town/Shooting our guns off in this town."