But if there is a quality that still and ever marks out Laswell’s writing, it is an ability to use words like unrepentant paper cuts. Should you be at the receiving end, perhaps you might not at first feel the sting; but it will burn like hell later. Imagine the coldness of being the subject of such biting vitriol as, “I'm gonna be lazy when I write about you.” Imagine that you mean so much nothing to someone you once meant the world to.
And how would you process the sting of, “What are you going to do when gravity gets to you?” Meanness, after all, is sometimes utterly justified – and in Greg Laswell’s world, no punches are pulled for the sake of possible hurt feelings.
But if you feel the same as does he, the words feel like little (or maybe enormous) triumphs. His pen is mighty – especially when it’s aimed at the heart. And the songs urge you to join in pushing the point in deeper.
The music lends powerful atmospheric gravitas to the words. It soars with tortured majesty (“Lifetime Ago”), it haunts so ever beautifully (“Out of Line”), and it aches with a piercing sadness (“Play That One Again”).
Popmatters called his work, “Haunting, genuine and surprisingly uplifting.” Filter described his songs as “Punches to the gut.” And Blurt said of his music that it’s both “majestic and meditative.”
On the title track Laswell matter-of-factly confesses, “Everyone thinks I dodged a bullet / But I think I shot the gun.” Loaded words, for an album loaded with open wounds.