Thursday, October 31, 2019

Jonathan Fire*Eater "Tremble Under Boom Lights"

Despite it being the damn namesake of the blog, I still have not exhausted talking about this album. I doubt I ever will.

“Tremble Under Boom Lights” is one of my favorite releases of all time and the fact that Third Man is able to reissue it still gives me pause.

No matter how much I say or write about this album, I still don’t feel like I’m done. I still feel like “there’s more work to do.”

More people need to know about this album, more need to appreciate it, more need to be influenced by it.

The opening song “The Search For Cherry Red” is burned into the enzymes of my soul. I can recite the lyrics at will. Any time I was bold enough to grab the mic in the Dirtbombs, there was a 50% chance I would sing this song.

“Give Me Daughters”, coupled with the gender and genetic make-up of the Shaggs, was the soothing salve I needed as I progressed into fatherhood of three daughters.

“The Public Hanging of a Movie Star” was included on a mixtape making the rounds in the Dirtrbombs tour van circa 2001, and EVERY time it played, I had to ask what it was as I was unaware. So primitive, so beguiling…those howls still unlike anything else I’ve heard anywhere else.

And the swan song, “In the Head” the last song the band would ever record together, just a head swirl of emotions for me. I have no idea what the lyrics “the ice cream truck goes cluck” mean, but goddamn if I don’t think about it weekly. When the instruments kick in all together like the force of a thousand volcanoes erupting at once, all joining in the breath of air, a hiccup almost, at the 2:41 mark, still, observant, vertiginous, as if the entirety of your life is presented before you and it does not feel overwhelming, just optimistically perfect.

It cannot be over-communicated…I still don’t really believe that Third Man was able to release this record. Cut primarily from the original master tapes. With the full support of the band members and estates and original label. I’ve had moments on the project where I’ve just had to stop and take stock of it all. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably continue saying it…I’m really just a fan here.