Saboteur by Lifeboat Etiquette

Saboteur by Lifeboat Etiquette

January 04, 2012

by Chris Hess

These stories...they are everywhere. Around us in analog. Drowned out by too many channels of static and sound. Images and moving pictures. Digitized.

Lifeboat Etiquette (Ryan Hollen) is the checkout man at your local grocer. These stories—they are in front of him everyday. They are in the eyes of the folk buying the eggs. He sees them there and then sees them everywhere. In the eyes of the folk he shares a cigarette with. They do not leave. From the eyes of the folk to the eyes of his heart.

These stories come out in song. Saboteur is the result of six years of work. Writing and rewriting. Marrying. Collecting stories. Cartons of eggs.

Saboteur is sandpaper pop. Patient songwriting somewhere between David Bazan, TW Walsh, and Pernice Brothers. Catchy and brash. Caring.

The songs are stories of love and longing. Honest pleas and begrudging requests.

"So if you write a book sometime—about my life or something that resembles mine—please address the mistakes I made, so those next in line can turn around and learn from mine."

It's the stuff of old letters. Communications written between a person and those he doesn't know yet or ever.

The album seems to chart Hollen's growth, both in life and songwriting. From heartache to selflessness to loss of self to the addition of a better half. The transition to the latter two seems to take root through three songs at the center of the work: "Widow's Walk", "(The Deep)", and "Saboteur" are fine songs on their own. Together, tho, they tell the story of loss, hope, struggle (torment?), and release.

And these are the bits he sees in eyes everyday. The bits most of us miss.

Listen: Saboteur by Lifeboat Etiquette

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