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The Cranky Skins – Rough Sex Blues

music review burning matches

A bluesy, swampy guitar droning, a throbbing thick beat, coming from inside a single room apartment. A crushing, inescapable heat. The bumping sound of sweat dripping onto the floor, the thumping of bedposts against a wall stained yellow by years of humidity and cigarette smoke. A heartbeat slowing in the stillness of the afterglow, cigarette smoke twisting into the stale air, ash clinging tenuously to the coal, waiting for that perfect moment to tumble down. There is an aching – “This could be a bad thing, but I ‘ve waited too long…” the vocals half whisper, half groan: “I’ve got the rough sex blues….”

There is an undulation to this song, and the dynamics move like tired bodies pressing together, summoning their every last bit of energy in a desperate struggle to satisfy a nagging urge. Seeking some kind of momentary escape from a humdrum life of continually mild and unexceptional yet exquisite suffering. A mindless and dehumanizing job, a meaningless routine wearing you down day after day. A colorless gray world you tolerate but would also just as soon see hung from the flagpole. Life has nearly forced itself on you, had its rough way with you, tied your wrists to a post with a silken sash and emptied you completely. Drained every last bit of pleasure from your sagging glands, left you barely able to stand, exposed and vulnerable, an animal in a trap too exhausted to struggle. Your costume armor lies scattered in a trail leading back to the hall. Shadows flash beneath the door as they move across the creaking floor in the hallway outside. Their muffled voices muttering, indistinguishable.

The slowly pulsing beat throbs against your temples like steadily dripping water. You are unable to muster the will to move across the room, twist the knob on the sink and shut it off. Outside the smeary window, a flag pole clinks listlessly in the wind. A small scuttle of Blackbirds flutter away nervously. A shoe drops from the body swaying on the pole. A shadowy shapeless creature slips from the shadows and steals away with the shoe in its mouth. The ash drops from the cigarette end and shakes the floor like a bomb dropped outside. Leave the lights down low, nobody cares about the piles of dirty dishes anymore.

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PS Perkins hails from Boise, Idaho in the United States and is a long time veteran of the underground music scene there. A multi-instrumentalist, aspiring fiction writer, prolific songwriter, and all around psychedelic warrior, Perkins has spent many years as both a street busker as well as playing bands such as Caustic Resin, Godzoundz, and The Universal.

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