Certain embittered persons on this sphere are inconsolable. Those
who recognize the beauty in sorrow, the healing attributes of
the blues, these share a disdain for bubbliness. Unhappy without
something to complain about, they tend to become tortured artists
or music critics. I don't know anyone like this, but my wife lives
with one. With its mission of dragging the dregs with a lethargic,
sinister net, The Cheater's Club won't allow anyone to
parade in its rain.
Eon Fontes-May's croaks are a menacing whisper like Gordon
Gano on his deathbed, bidding his reluctant heir closer so
as to issue an unsavory legacy. Steve Armstrong's chain-gang
folk guitar is offset by Men Without Hats But With Heroin
electronics and minty-cool trip-hop. By avoiding traditionally
dark methods, he provides a contrast that proves even creepier,
like that insincere smile on a so-called friend. Perhaps they
were going for a Pop Goes The World sound, but the floor
kept collapsing on them, what with all the spinning. The music
box boinging invariably decomposes into the cacophony heard in
a twisted mind. The apex of this degradation is synaptic break
of "After The First Time." It fights real hard for clarity,
but there's a static freakout going on in the distance that causes
the eyelids to twitch., the colors to oscillate and your partner
to look concerned because they can't hear what's going on in your
blown gasket- basket as you feign normalcy. Then there's the spooky
Muppet monster chorus on "Quite Alright."
When the fragile warbling of Mariel Blair comes into play,
the story really strikes home. Blair, the former bandmate and
girlfriend of Fontes-May, performs on two of the breakup songs
she inspired. Not since the godawful Fleetwood Mac have
we heard ex's hashing out their closure for our benefit. (Perhaps
the hideous "You're So Vain", depending on which camp
is pointlessly arguing.) Together they embody vulnerability like
a couple of jonesing junkies quivering in sickness on the edge
of crumbling. The melodrama between lovers lost brings Fontes-May
into an indulgent depression that would make M. Gira say
"Lighten up, man, it'll all be OK."
Call it schadenfreude, or shared experience, but there's something
innately comforting about witnessing another person's misery.
I for one believe that in some way, we can learn something from
it. And through the therapeutic purging of the soul, we are part
of the unburdening. Bullshit? Perhaps. Better this than watching
another poor little rich girl muddle through life on the tube.
Give me something like Trist. that I can relate to.
On a scale of potential "You're So Vain" targets; one
being Mick Jagger and ten being Cat Stevens: Trist.
garners a nine- you think this song is about YOU, don't you?
3. You've Been Happier
4. Quite Alright
5. We Could Be Anywhere
6. Relatively Certain
7. Everybody Here
9. Clean Break
10. After the First Time
11. Summer Song
12. In the End
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