Sowing’s Songs of the Decade #3

Published: January 04, 2019

God gave Noah the rainbow sign…no more water, is the H-Bomb next time?

There’s stark contrast in the implications carried by the phrase, “the end of the world.”  For those with a religious upbringing, it likely conjures images of plague, famine, and horsemen wreaking unfathomable devastation.  To others, they might imagine World War III – cyber warfare shutting down power grids, industry, and commerce, while increasingly desperate leaders launch nuclear missiles at each other from outer space.  mewithoutYou’s end-times scenario is a little of both, and their song ‘Rainbow Signs’ entails all of the intensity and destruction that could come if/when a Biblical and secular apocalypse were to cross paths.

What makes  ‘Rainbow Signs’ so effective isn’t its eccentric storytelling, it’s the personal anecdotes.  Aaron Weiss makes God seem like he has a twisted, sarcastic humor (in the above quote, it’s a reference to God’s promise to Noah that he would never again destroy the Earth with a flood — but he never said anything about nuclear bombs).  He also cracks wise about his hairline, comparing it to Napoleon’s receding hairline late in life after his exile to St. Helena, in what also happens to be the first/only time that the mostly Christian band drops the F-bomb on its listeners.  In the middle of the song Weiss prays in both Arabic and Hebrew.   He even ends the song by recounting an inside joke that only he and his deceased father ever shared.  There’s so much humanity and personality injected into what lesser bands might treat merely as an opportunity to shoot for all things epic.

Of course, there’s no doubting the world-crushing weight of the track either, especially when those searing electric riffs descend in the song’s latter half — like fire raining from the sky.  There’s an intensity to Weiss’ shouts of “daylight is breaking!” that feel so sincere that they become frightening verses.  A black horse he calls the Scarecrow Lord rides out conquest-bent; the fourth seal opens (when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him); the sky rolls up into itself like a scroll while mountains and islands move from their place; the sun turns black…yeah, it’s seriously dark shit.

The emotional significance of Weiss’ lyrics, combined with Biblical metaphors of an apocalyptic nature, make ‘Rainbow Signs’ the most intense and terrifying moment in mewithoutYou’s catalog.  In the modern era, where technological/militaristic capabilities could eliminate an entire country in a matter of days, it all feels too real.  There may not really be a Scarecrow Lord – or four horsemen ready to lead the charge against Earth – but that doesn’t make the threat of such overt destruction any less ominous.  Such power in the wrong hands could make any world leader a horseman.  mewithoutYou understands that, and “Rainbow Signs” is a particularly stern warning that the end could be rapidly approaching unless society changes course.

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