RUMSPRINGER: Empty Towers: CD

I’m a fan of dualities. On the surface, Rumspringer sounds bright and positive, like a Youth Of Today Tiltwheel. It’s happy-sounding, assertive music, almost blinding like sunlight reflecting off a water-soaked porch. But the lyrics deal primarily with a “What now?”, a hardening of crusted-over and almost-abandoned idealism, a crushing feeling of that something went terribly wrong in the developmental stages between the utopia in one’s brain and the suburbs at one’s feet. When lines like “backed it with unanswered questions and sealed it with a blind repression that spirals toward a deep depression” come out, it mysteriously doesn’t sound like the white flag of defeat, but a sharp stake into the side of a steep mountain to hang onto. The music itself—the guitar, bass, and drum—continue to be uplifting through the entire record. Oddly, this record reminds me of friends in the service industry. In your twenties, at least the cash can be decent and a lot of it’s under the table. Often, your friends come to you. You can give and receive small kindnesses. In your late thirties, the ideas of long-term security, the ability of your body to hold out, and rubbing your fingers on along the ridge of gigantic teeth that want to chomp you into little, little pieces and spit you back out comes fully into play. High marks.

 –todd (Traffic Street)