“I picture this highway at dusk. You can barely make out what’s on either side, but it’s bright enough to see the yellow lines without needing cars and trucks driving by to make them visible. In between the two lanes is a wooden milk crate, battered and broken. To the right of the highway is a sign that reads Tulsa 765 miles.To the left is what’s left of a roadkill victim, being picked and prodded by crows or turkey vultures or politicians, whatever.
It’s this picture in my mind that stays with me, even through the daylight hours, when I’m listening to, or even thinking of listening to The Great Depression by the native-Irish fucker, Robyn G. Shiels.
It’s comforting to know that I’m not Irish. It’s not comforting to know that the dude could probably beat my ass for saying so. But in this particular instance, I’m not degrading the Irish lineage because of the red hair, the alcoholism, the potato jokes, the migratory habits of their fellow countrymen. No, I’m glad I’m not Irish because if I saw the world as clear as this boozehound, I’d have probably taken my own life years ago.
There’s this clarity within his observations that on the one hand I admire and appreciate, but on the other, I really wish I would’ve never given this a shot. I’m stuck with these songs in my head like an unwelcome viewing of Face of Death, but I put this shit in my ear for a reason, and it’s almost a welcome cut that I’m watching drip drops of my blood red blood drip dropping.
Call it alt, call it indie, call it country, call it disturbingly comforting. Robyn G. Shiels manages to slow my world the fuck down for the 16 or so minutes this EP takes out of my day, and I needed the break. When gadgets and media and space-age tranny hookers are flying by you at 699 miles per hour, it’s nice to be able to let all that shit happen while you’re staring forward, enjoying a nice hot cup of rice milk, or whatever the fuck Irish people drink when they’re contemplating murdering their family members for crossing lines.
Robyn G. Shiels is vulnerable on this EP, but it’s a vulnerable that you understand to mean he has blades sticking out of the toes of his Irish boots. I’d listen to this if I were you, or beware the vengeance of an Irishman.”
Review of The Great Depression by SYFFAL