“Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.” -William S. Burroughs
I think about this Burroughs quote a lot. I always miss-remember or simplify it to “There’s a little man in all of us, trying to kill us”. Neurosis or self-doubt for sure, addiction of course. But I think this instinct is present at birth. I think that we are all driven to destroy ourselves in some way, its just how that drive manifests that’s important. Some people are able to harness that motivation and channel it into positivity, while others remain under its thumb. The homonyms raised and razed are especially interesting to me. They reflect in no uncertain terms the duality of human society. Are we meant to be building or destroying?
I invited Zack (Webb Chapel) over to eat some noodles and sit down in my basement to talk like minded people, enjoying the process, being shoe-horned, and being purposely evasive. Zack is one of the most emotionally articulate people that I have met in a long time. I think that fact is pretty apparent in his music, maybe not at first, but once you dive underneath the surface level; and listen with intent, the music becomes a portrait of inner reconciliation. Understated at times for sure, sometimes the message may be obscured , or it may take a few listens to grasp, but well worth the effort. Zack’s music is a puzzle for the ears. Earnest melodies and an intimate, sometimes uneasy, feeling. It’s my opinion that Webb Chapel is a whole-hearted endeavor that is so worthy and deserving of your time.
Following the dissolution of Austin-based experimental band Beth Israel, Claxton began drawing in the margins, putting down sketches of ideas and song fragments that would eventually become the basis for Webb Chapel’s first two releases, Moverama and Like the Country. “I like the idea of dismantling songs as you’re listening to them. Sort of taking them apart and putting them back together.” When the lens focuses, however, you get a sense that this record comes from an altogether intentional, yet eerily chaotic time and place. As Claxton explains, “I’m kind of never in the same place for very long.” Dalmatians is a testament to the beauty in uncertainty.
All proceeds from this album are being donated to Prevention Point to aid their mission of Harm Reduction and community support in the Philadelphia area.