“The thing would suddenly stand before him, strange and terrifying, demanding that he name it and name it justly and be judged for the name he gave it.”
~ Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away
Louisville’s State Champion are out to name some shit on their second official release, Deep Shit. And they did that shit fucking justice. (Be aware that I’m going to continue cursing because this is some badass fucking rock-roll garage-barn hacksaw-kickback shit, and good rock and roll turns “cursing” into “cussing” and cussing is hella fun…) Fuck!, this album is good. I’ve convinced myself that it’s ok that I’m using such easy language in the review, because the album isn’t nearly as lazy. The phrases that jump out of this album–
- “I live in a dark town with no babies,”
- “I wanna scream at the dogs—and if they’re mean, well, fuck ’em, I guess,”
- “I can smell the coffee burning on the burner/but all I wanted was to sleep some more,”
- “There’s no magic anymore, no magic if there was any before/I found out I was hollering the wrong words,”
- “My sister lost a friend over something like an invitation,”
- “I’d do anything for money”
—they’re strange and terrifying because their so goddamned NORMAL. That’s the deep shit. Of course it’s found in a garage in Kentucky. Of course it sounds like shit you’ve heard every day of your life. They’re naming what’s in front of your face all the time, the shit that only seems sudden in the moments when you have to face up to it: I’m a whore, home isn’t home, it’s another weekday. It’s music that makes you proud to be so wholly fucked—the true aim of rock, am I wrong?
Sonic kin to Eleventh Dream Day, Dinosaur Jr, Silver Jews. Control of the first person point of view to rival Tim Barry. Stories—retching, tar-water-chugging, tarnation-punching, southern ghost stories—to make Flannery O’Connor cast off her crutches, sprint to church and back. Good riddance to the goddamn gout! she’d scream.
State Champion, Essential Listening. Existential Listening. Deep Shit doesn’t stop at distilling some essence of Place or Providence or Rock and Roll—Deep Shit is the record of an existence that cannot account for any of those things, and cannot live without them.