"Schooner is from Durham, NC. We like staring into space and rolling over bumpy roads." Don't we all. This indie sonic sleepy time band are really quite good. Takes a bit of getting used to and the vibe is laid back but for a strange reason: it is as though being tired is a state of political rebellion in just the way misanthropy is for Wesley Wolfe.
The connection is more than geographic, on this four song split twelve incher, it is an inch towards an anti-social antipathy towards society: in its own way it is an nolle prosequai of sound: dirgy but slowly accessible sound sonics not a million mils away from Real estate.
Wolfe and Schooner come across as journeyman who can't seem to twist away from the journey. Forget swimming pools and hookers, how about diapers and holidays in Disney World?
So what you get is one new song each and then Wes covers Schooner and Schooner covers Wes. And it is a thing of immense beauty. Wesley's "Landlocked" was always a miserable song offset by a jingly jangly guitar: it is a happy against its own better judgment sound. Schooner say, "to hell with that" and with a synthesizer buzzing in the background song is an emotional quicksand of the mind, "I'll keep these memories locked inside my head" becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
Better still, one of the best songs of the year so far is Wolfe's, "Crying/Laughing". I don't think Wesley has actually written a song that isn't one of my favorites but even by his standards this is a thing of beauty. The problem (if it had one -I thought it was a masterpiece) with Cynics Need Love Too is what over an entire album, it was too lean, too heavy,. Despite its name, there is lightness of touch on "Crying/Laughing", the two guitars play off each other with a spritely, youthful, gait. Sure, it is depressing stuff, but it doesn't sound like a downer.
The other two songs are mirror images of each other: it's like a conversation about going nowhere, that old "I will not go forward, I'll go forward".
You can hear it on Spotify.