Montreal-based punks The Last Mile and Memphis punk rockers PEZZ have released a split LP together. The album features 11 tracks in total and is out now via Rad Girlfriend Records. The album art was done by Jonah Aspler. We caught up with Chris Snelgrove and Stephanie Cole of The Last Mile and Marvin Stockwell, Christian Walker, and Ceylon Mooney of PEZZ to get a track-by-track breakdown of the album. Listen to the album and read the breakdown below!
THE LAST MILE
The definition of malfeasance is wrongdoing, especially by a public official. This is a repetitive cycle that we, as citizens of “democratized“ countries, have to endure every few years. The endless hypocrisy, posturing, and outright lies that we are fed in an attempt to get politicians to side with them is something akin to buying a car off a cliché used car lot. We will tell you exactly what you want to hear and you will believe in us. Then we’ll just turn around and ignore every promise made on our platform. Do as I say, don’t do as I do.
Uprising and hope. Red paint was so named because of the red paint that was thrown on multiple statues of John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister for his legacy of implementing racist policies against Indigenous people and his role in creating residential schools. Lyrically it’s about so much more than that, it’s about confronting history with current values, it’s a call to arms, it’s a reminder that we can be better, and at the same time it’s a hard reality check that some ideologies won’t change in our lifetime but to never stop trying to stop the role of the oppressor in all societies.
People change over time and, as a by-product, their relationships start to change as well. This was amplified for a lot of people by the pandemic and it strained or ruined many long-term relationships between lovers, friends, and families. This is a story about attempting to maintain a relationship by trying to talk through the issues in a respectful, honest manner but not being able to get through and then accepting ill placed blame and taking accountability for things that you were not responsible for, for the sake of the relationship, regardless of how much it hurts.
"The Fall" (Featuring Aaron Scott)
The title is from the Albert Camus book of the same name. It’s a monologue of a person asking themselves why they do performative so-called good deeds. It calls into question what good deeds are, would the person do it if there wasn’t an audience to validate the action, what pushes someone to even do good deeds and how much mental space thinking about them takes. Aaron’s take on the subject is an extremely poetic critique of a narcissistic doer of good deeds and their loneliness. Kindness, compassion, and empathy should be ingrained into everyone form birth but unfortunately that is not always the way.
Is about the helplessness that you feel when you have to watch someone suffer. You can ask all the right questions, offer everything and anything, but when the person is so buried by problems that they don’t even know what could help. Both parties are left with feelings of unresolve and listlessness.
The title is a metaphor for hiding away from people while you’re in a constant struggle within yourself and need people around you but at the same time have spent so much time pushing people away. It’s from the perspective of regret and fearing that it’s almost too late and not understanding how you let it get to this point. The song is manifested as angry when the actual emotions are fear and sadness.
"A New Capacity"
This song is about the internal battle between our aspirational higher Self, who wants us to live out what we were put on this planet to do, and our Ego. Both halves are us, and we need both to be whole, but the Ego's henchmen, inner doubt and societal pessimism, can gain an outsized influence over us and box us in with fear if we let them. Are we going to reach deep down inside ourselves and lead? Are we going to let our best selves "take the wheel" and drive us to be all we can be?
"Courage, Courage, Courage"
This song is about trying hard, failing, learning, honestly asking the question "Are we beaten?" and continuing to try and maintain hope.
The hard lessons are what make us who we are. The scars teach us, deepen us and strengthen us. We would not give them up even though they were hard to endure, because we are better because of them.
"Everybody Loses This Time"
This song calls out sugar-coated platitudes that there is a silver lining to every setback and loss. Suffering sometimes seems unrelenting, pointless and cruel. People's platitudes offered to the grieving or suffering person are often saccharine and unhelpful. It's a fear of empathy and human closeness, and their simplistic response is a copout. What's required is to "sit with the person and wait out the rain." In other words, to suffer with the person. It is uncomfortable but ultimately the healing, loving thing to do for the suffering person. Compassion literally means "to suffer with" or "to suffer together." The saccharine platitude gives a person a safe out.
This song is about the incredible impact our friends can make on us and on our communities, even if they come and move on to other cities and other phases of life. It's a lament that these strong bonds with people can't remain together. Our friends are called on, and we feel abandoned, but what we had is still cherished and celebrated. It is in the coming together and creating, that love and good is multiplied and spread, even if the human systems are fleeting.