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Sat, 23 Feb 2008

Ears Ring

Ears Ring is the first song on Ears Ring EP or the third track on Long Knives Drawn, take your pick. You can, as always, listen to the song and read the lyrics.

Give it a good listen.

Compare it to "Catastrophe." "Catastrophe" plods along; while being the suggested song (indeed, the single) from the album, it starts slow and explains somehow sweetly but intensely, "I've got a plan." I could never feel attached to the song; it feels like there's no real conflict. Instead, "Ears Ring" is about an urgency of a sense of confusion.

Compare it to "Burn." "Ears Ring" knows how to grow, and it knows how to end. The song is short on lyrics, but the way Caithlin stretches the words between breaths and Kyle's fervor let her reveal a scene slowly, letting us imagine feelings we probably already know with enough time to really feel them. The urgency allows it to repeat itself without feeling canned, and the sharp reminders of "love her" at the end jab you only a handful of times before ceasing.

On its own, the song is not just energetic, it's forceful. "Have faith," we're urged at the start. (Who can resist listening for those words when you need something uplifting?) Who is the blue lady? But you hear Caithlin breathe - or with this much music behind her, maybe she's gasping for air. Her performance and Kyle's determined strumming (not to forget William's rhythm)

After a few verses of the urgency, the song drops to half time to plead, "You already love her." (Who can resist listening for these words when you need a push toward a girl?) But how does that intertwine with the stinging arms, the ringing ears of failure?

If there's a vision of a poppy Rainer Maria, even one where reptition is as much a part of life as it is on "Catastrophe" or "Burn," this is the exemplar of how that vision can succeed.

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