Review Summary: Part 2: Tunnels
There’s always something special about music that explores the anxiety and distress of being alive. Even if the pain of growing up is a mainstay topic for the emo genre, Just Married
zeroes in specifically on the pressure of marriage. They also juxtapose this with the carefree nature of adolescence, and the way it’s executed here is nothing short of genius. This is because many of the pains of growing up stem directly from the fear of ending up completely alone. There comes a time in life, for most people around the mid-20s, where you start to notice that quite a few people you knew in high school are tying the knot. You don’t think seriously about marriage when you’re a teenager - I mean come on, marriage is so far away when you’re that young, right" Besides, you don’t know anyone you’d even consider marrying.
But then, all of the sudden, “I don’t even know
anyone I’d consider marrying” becomes “Holy shi
t, I don’t know anyone I’d even consider
marrying.” With that thought, your adolescence takes a strike from the wrecking ball of adulthood. All those true-love stories (that hyphen is very necessary) you grew up with expose themselves for what they are: stories. You start to think that “settling down” might just mean “settling.”
It’s a narrow tunnel you don’t even notice you’re in until it starts to close in on you, and you can almost picture yourself watching the light at the end being swallowed by the concrete.
Then, the older you get, the more weight your relationships start bearing from the thought of marriage festering in the back of your mind. Entering romantic relationships when you’re older is so scary because, as Glocca Morra point out, it’s almost a “make it or break it” situation. If it works out, you made it, but if it doesn’t, you’re back at square one with time down the drain.
Even if you make it, you don’t know until it’s too late if marriage will help you fly, or if it will be what ends up clipping your wings.
It’s such an ugly fear, and Glocca Morra knows that. They also know how beautiful of a thing adolescence is, and they show this with a masterful grip on conveying emotion through music. The most noticeable sign on first listen is through the vocals, which are sometimes sugary sweet when recounting glory days, and seething with bitter anger when feeling trapped, abandoned, crowded, empty, alone. Hell, the opener “Y’all Boots Hats"” is the most feel-good thing here, and it’s strictly about being young and wild. This track acts as a red herring, using its status as the opening track to disguise the album as a joyous celebration of life via power chords and gang vocals. The veil is lifted by the very next song, “Irrevocable, Motherfuc
ker,” which paints the picture of a failing relationship. The protagonist feels the sting of their stubborn partner, which makes him feel like neither of them can do anything correctly, including walking, talking, and saying “I miss you.” It’s ugly but honest. It’s when you say “I’m going to leave” only to have your mind respond with “Where would you even go"”
This is also when the album showcases it’s true strong point: the guitar work. Each note twinkles and slings around the rhythm section with ease, and when the parts are layered on top of one another, (which is usually the case) it’s the closest the emo genre has come to being downright hypnotic. The guitar work is just as sporadic as the mind of the album’s protagonist, who is terrified of being alone, even though deep down it’s all he wants.
Glocca Morra seems so infatuated with adolescence, to the extent where I don’t think it’s at all a coincidence that the most gorgeous instrumental moment on the album comes directly after a lyric about spending an entire summer getting high in a bedroom on “Eat The Fuc
king Snow.” After the lyric hits, clean guitars twinkle alongside soft bells and a tambourine to create a cozy musical hammock for the listener, drawing them in closer as the whole track gradually slows down to a leisurely, peaceful swing. It’s like the snug, warm feeling you get when you think back to your teen years, the true beauty of not having a care in the world.
can be a downer at times, but ultimately it wants you to know that you can find love in many different things. According to Glocca Morra, love can be listening to old Green Day records with a few friends. It can be driving to a past lover’s house in the middle of the night to get them back. And maybe, it can be calling 9-11 after you and your wife convince each other that you’ve died from eating pot brownies.
Everyone can find the way out of their tunnel. You believe that, don’t you"