Review: John Moreland – In the Throes

John_Moreland_Throes__68116.1368204323.1280.1280There comes a time in life where we must look in the mirror and assess how our prior actions have brought us to this point. For better or worse, such a moment is a rite of passage. We may not like what we see staring back at us but to be true to ourselves, we must face our past.

I heard truth is what songs are for
Nobody gives a damn about songs anymore

Such truth is what is sought on In the Throes, the new album from John Moreland. There’s no sugarcoating the truth to avoid the ultimate melancholy of these interior monologues. In the Throes is a sombre affair, scars and all.

You spend so long looking
That you never really see
So I need you to tell me what to be

Mixing recent idioms, well-timed clichés and trite observations to create astute character sketches, Moreland recounts the naivety of youth to arrive at a brutal truth.

We read all the right books
We sang songs we misunderstood
And with or without any reason
We did rebellion what justice we could

While truth may not bring catharsis, Moreland paints a selfish world filtered through a level of surrealism worthy of Fitzgerald.

I threw my love into the ocean / I found it in the sand

I got my ear to the ground / You’ve got Easter Sunday in your eyes

I wanna dust off the stars / And hang ’em on a wall for you

If apologies are a form of penance, Moreland is not interested in redemption. The only sage advice to be gleaned from In the Throes comes from the Springsteen-esque rocker, “Oh, Julia.”

I think I finally found the truth
You gotta kill whatever’s been killing you

Moreland ends In the Throes with one final admission on “Blues and Kudzu”:

I’m just trying to leave behind yesterday

Through the pain and sorrow of In the Throes, John Moreland speaks for us, those who still find truth in songs.

Stream the album below and purchase In the Throes at Last Chance Records.

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