I first became aware of the band Attic Abasement mainly because their name caught my eye on YouTube. Their album Dancing is Depressing has some unforgettable tracks.
The opening song “Australia” is slow and somber. It feels like the kind of song you would write while sitting alone in the dark in front of a fire in the middle of fall. “How do I know that I’m alive?” is repeated over and over midway through the song. This is a powerful question to contemplate because the asker is basically wondering about his choices and examining his current life. He reaches a sudden solution (although perhaps a short-lived one) with “I think I’ll start a farm in Australia and take walks just to sit around blocking moonbeams on a desert or on a beach.” This section is then followed with “And that’s how I’ll know that I’m alive” repeated in the same way as before. It’s the kind of thought process someone goes through when sitting alone thinking or talking with a friend about his or her life. You know, maybe I’ll just start a farm somewhere…
This band’s lyrics generally seem to contain a good mix of blunt statements and metaphorical descriptions. “Sorry About Your Dick” starts with the lyrics “Lady, I’m sorry, but you married a dick, and you better just digest him before he turns to shit.”
“A Werewolf” has a great opening with a gradual buildup on the guitar and then proceeds to launch full force into the song with all the other instruments joining it. The first line “I distrust a mattress that smells like it feels” immediately grabs my attention and makes me wait eagerly for each successive line. During the chorus, the song slows down for the lines “I can be a werewolf if you want me to if you want me.” Slowing down for the chorus and then picking it back up for the verses really gives this song a momentum and feeling that keeps it vibrant. This is definitely my favorite song on this album. The lyrics mixed with the flow of the song and the subtle yet powerful guitar all make me keep coming back to it. “I know when it’s time to let the dog decide. When I find my hands tied, I let the dog decide. I can be a werewolf if you want me to if you want me.” It’s sad with an upbeat tempo and has a hint of humor to it, which almost seems to describe perfectly the ridiculous situations in which we find ourselves sometimes.
“Both of Me” starts with the verse “Some people these days spill all over the place and nothing at all is what they hoped things would become. They shrivel up and down they go to the very foam.” There is a sense of urgency in a lot of their songs that is similar to the urgency found in punk. Attic Abasement manages to create this urgency with more of a folk-based aesthetic, although they are certainly not a typical folk band nor are they a punk band.
This band is very unique in their approach and is definitely worth checking out. Their most recent album Dream News also has some great stuff on it. I just wanted to talk about this particular album because I connected the most with it after randomly finding it on YouTube. Give them a listen if you feel like it.