Chat Logs: Learning to Sleep on Yer Back

(Editor’s Note: You should read the companion piece to this review too.  Thanks.  Also, this album is free. Take it.)

If there is a messiah, it will look and sound like nothing we’ve ever heard.  There will be makeshift noises and musics, but we will not be able to place them.  I imagine that messiah coming not to save or damn anyone, but just to check in on us.  What have we been up to?  What TV shows do we like?  Is there anything worth talking about when an entity knows all?  Is thinking that “it” knows all presumptuous?

Chat Logs’ Learning to Sleep on Yer Back is a call to arms for a messiah.  When music began it was a set of beautiful noises meant to bring us closer to God.  I really believe that.  However, this album-song isn’t a Psalm and it isn’t praise.  It starts with a repetitive yowl from some old record; some relic from their collection that they deemed worthy to deconstruct.  Learning is a deconstruction of everyone’s ideas; a tearing down of the Walls of Jericho.  The meandering noises last over 35 minutes and the vociferous and manic guitar wailing moves in and out of the speakers like a shift change.  As one leaves, there is a replacement and it will work as hard to gather our focus.

Spending time with the album is a labor of love.  There is work to be done. Chat Logs has left us with the schematics of our Tower of Babel and we must build it.  The shadows of the beginning have disappeared and left us with a language not our own.  Elucidating on their point would only exacerbate our overworking minds.  This is the purpose of noise.  This is the missive: master the plan, make the moves, the noise is the banter we have searched for.  We waited for answers and were given codes.  That’s the problem with a religion steeped in the absence of language– we can only assume meaning.

If we are building and breaking– if we are continually trying to find or pass ourselves off as the messiahs– this is a fine soundtrack to have.  As each brick seals and is consequently crumbled, we can search and stack and work and sweat and finally fall into light comas as the sun and wind and rain beat down on our withered skin.  We will make the music beautiful or debilitatingly loud or just make it.  Either way, we are closer to God for trying.  If there is a messiah, we will have destroyed its ears to Chat Logs.  We will have laid bare for sins we made up ourselves.  There will be nothing (everything) to show for it.

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