#58 Riverby: Absolution

Now, as longtime readers (hi Mum! I told you to stop reading, I just can’t have that boring conversation about so called “Disturbing psychosexual imagery” with you yet another time) will no doubt already have noticed, I’m something of a literary genius. Not fully appreciated in my time, no, but neither was Vincent van Gogh. Also, I’m not going around simping over prostitutes so hard that I send them parts of my body that I’ve sliced off. That is so cringe. proper beta behavior, whereas I am obviously an alpha chad. I have lots of the sex and talk to loads of women. Like, all the time.

Anyway, yes, I am a literary genius, and what I’ve done on this year’s list – one hundred percent intentionally!! – is design it so two things that I’ve already been discussing this year finally come together and interweave on my post concerning the second album from Philadelphia ‘punk’ band Riverby.

Do you notice how I put ‘punk’ in inverted commas there? And also the second time I wrote ‘punk’? And that time again? That’s because I’m not sure if the band themselves would describe themselves as ‘punk’ (there I go again!), but it seems to be what they’re most often referred to. Also, remember in my last post when I said all debates around ‘genre’ were garbage! Ooooh! All of this links together! I am actually a genius. Power-punk, maybe? I’d say they deserve the ‘power-emo’ tag more than Camp Cope, who seem(ed) to have been officially awarded it. This is kind of the point though – I previously outlined how depressing it is that the concept of ‘punk‘ (five times!) has been watered down to specifically only refer to music made by three or four white guys pouting their lips and pretending they’re the Sex Pistols in 1977? Well, screw that, here’s a ‘punk’ (six!) band that use the genre and the philosophy of punk to create something far greater, bringing in influences from places that exist outside of late 70s Camden. Punk’s anger is absolutely there, but it doesn’t act as its central conceit and guiding musical narrative, Riverby excel at demonstrating that anger needn’t be always conveyed through shouting “RUDY!” for two and a half minutes. Oh, and anger isn’t the only emotion you’re capable of translating! Riverby are perfectly capable and more than happy to both tear at your heart strings and inject you with life affirmation. ‘Absolution’ is brilliantly sequenced from the unfettered rage of Baseless until the naked vulnerability of Imagine the Ending (including the ‘hidden’ track, which is called… Absolved…?). Underneath all the soul searching and confessions though, the anger is always there.

Hm? What’s that? Anger at what you say? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell…

Remember how annoyed I’ve been getting at how often I need this year to grind my posts to a halt this year in order to mention another sexual assault? Another guy abusing either his position of power or taking advantage of some situation to – in legal terminology – stick his dick in someone’s face? And there’s more to come! It’s already got to the point where I occasionally have to weigh up how bad I deem a sexual misconduct to decide whether I still include him on the list! Why are men like this? Why are we like this?! I was an alcoholic for most of my teens, all of my 20’s, and some of my 30’s, I was likely a gross, gross, gross person for a very long time. I spent a lot of my time crawling from pub to bar to club to pub again to house party. I don’t remember doing anything grossly inappropriate, but by the same gesture I really don’t remember much at all. Oh yeah, I was married for a lot of this time as well, but that’s a story for another time. I sometimes think I’m just lucky that I was always a nobody (this was before I became the famous blogger that I am now, where I am, of course, beating off the crowds of adoring fans with a shitty stick, mate) and so always had the option of disappearing back into anonymity. Also, women were expected to expect and accept the absolutely worse behaviour until embarrassingly recently, so dudes could basically do whatever the fuck they want just short of murder. And even murder didn’t always count if the victim was a woman, you’d likely have to kill three or four before people really took notice. Female sex workers?? Mate, go nuts! When people talk about going back to ‘the good old days’, they are specifically talking about this. Lots of dudes think life went downhill when the whole concept of ‘consensual’ sex was introduced. Perhaps this is why so many men prefer to push back against the wider ‘#MeToo’ movement. Perhaps many men have skeletons in their closet that they fear will be brought out one day.

Can I mention Lingua Ignota’s description of her relationship to Alexis Marshall again? Tough, I’m bringing it up.It’s an absolutely horrific read but equally important to be aware of, no matter whether you’re a fan of either artist (though I can’t imagine it being easy to now consider yourself a Daughters fan), as it’s an astonishingly detailed dissection of exactly what forms abuse can take. I should perhaps mention that Alexis Marshall did actually respond to these ”””””allegations””””” (ten inverted commas there, make of that what you will), saying “What? Na, dude, no way. I’m, like, totally going to sue and shit. Baseless, baseless, it’s all just baseless, I’m not that kind of guy”

Keep on praying to Jesus
You can take it up with God

Remember when you said that I was fucking crazy
Like what did I expect on a Saturday night
You’re begging on your knees and you’re calling me baby
You’re fucking lucky I let you walk out alive…

Save your words
No one asked you to write some letter
How could you think explaining yourself
Could ever make this any better?
Save your defenses
I don’t wanna hear your pleads
I wanna be an asshole, I wanna get even
I wanna hear you scream


Sorry, this post started off quite funny, didn’t it? Nothing like violent sexual abuse to really harsh a vibe. I should also point out that Lingua Ignota’s claims haven’t been proven in court, so are technically allegations. I will also say once more that it’s a pretty fucking weird and detailed thing to make up. Still awaiting that legal action, Alexis.

Did I mention how good this album was at any point? I hope I did…


3 thoughts on “#58 Riverby: Absolution

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