Immediately starting with lyrics steeped in self-deprecating humor, Dale Jr. elevates what could easily have been a standard punk song about the fickle nature of love to a fun and nuanced number.
Multiple false endings halt the progress of the beginning. The start and stop nature emphasizes the emotional state Dale Jr. paints. “I feel stuck,” he admits. There’s simmering frustration hiding behind the lines and guitar licks.
“Love is a fickle thing that don’t come cheap,” he cries. As the distorted guitar chords obscure the harmonic progression, we fight with him to move into the next section. But instead of struggling, he shifts gears.
The surprising, tone-shifting organ breakdown under a chill guitar solo perfectly incapsulates adapting to circumstances. As the guitar solo’s energy builds back into the original levels, the genius orchestrational choices come full circle.
By the time the song concludes with “I am just a man who will never be what you need,” Dale Jr. has taken us through the emotional rollercoaster of life and love.
Stream “I Can Hardly See” and the rest of Living South EP below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.