Last August, Billy Corgan, of Smashing Pumpkins fame, got some press for declaring God the “great, unexplored territory” of rock music.
I’ve thought about Corgan’s comment of late, while listening to the record that’s been on repeat in my apartment the last month. Saintseneca’s Dark Arc is a meditation on doom, according to Zac Little, the band’s frontman and lyricist. Though that word may mislead, for this record is bleak at times, but luminous too. Nods to death or impermanence are often met with a resistance to the same:
If only the good ones die young
I pray your corruption come
Swift like a thief in the night
Right I pluck my right eye right out
Little is a fighter, of sorts—When I crave a split lip, he sings in “Happy Alone,” I’ll get it quick—and the doom expressed here wakes the listener to the appetites bucking beneath apathy, the desire to not go down without a fight.