“Relentless” feels a little like a working title for a song. And as this song by Chris Moore begins, with strummed guitar and a spare kick drum, there is the feeling of a demo. The opening images, that of being stuck in a current or a river, are a little loose. There is a lack of bite. That bite eventually comes. And the title is later effective. The song sticks in your brain.
For me, it’s not until the third verse, when we get the line “There’s been talk among neighbors. Neighbors and strangers. Saying they’re just going to ride it out. Ride it out.” That a mood is fully established. At that point effective, emotive electric guitar and piano have been added. The song is moving and conveys the psychological experience.
And what is the talk among neighbors today? It’s August 14, 2017, and for all the buffoonery that we used to discuss about the current president, the actual core of this hate-monger is starting to ignite. This is our president.
Knowing this, knowing our friends and family are in danger and by not reacting forcefully enough we may be complicit, the abstract but painfully accurate “Relentless” is a good song for today.
The words of one of the refrains of this song are “These days you gotta stay low. Can’t tell when it’s gonna blow. You just gotta stay low.” Again, as a psychological description, painful and accurate. We’re all afraid, and there’s good reason to be afraid. Of course, if we all stay low this will only get worse.