Short Fictions have often tried to imagine a better world. Their sophomore LP, Fates Worse Than Death, mythologized their Pittsburgh hometown as a place of great evil and grand inspiration. Doomsday scenarios, shot through with a dash of hope, influenced a set of songs that dipped between neighborhood serenity and desperate calls for community. Every Moment of Every Day answers their own anguish by finding moments of growth amid unrivaled chaos.
The band’s third LP exhibits the self-awareness of young adulthood with the united front of collective power. While the band’s literary twist on indie rock and emo remains here, narrative expansions have uprooted comfort in their old ways. “The Great Unwashed” is the band’s love letter to rusted-out screamo, a maze of fraying guitar lines and spurting percussion. Even more surprising may be the group’s most tender odes to emotional clarity, like the spirited ray of light “Heather” or the spires of keyboards built around “To Leave Forever or Die Alone in South Oakland.” Regardless of genre explored, each vignette of Keystone lockdown feels lived-in and banged-up, a window into a world decomposing as quickly as it’s decorated.
Written on the road but processed in our current time, Every Moment of Every Day is a warning sign of looming darkness and a welcome mat for whatever may come next. All you have to do is show up. - James Cassar