Belated Review – Hemmingway – "Pretend to Care" (2014) Belated Reviews by Paul - February 25, 20160 Right now, at midnight, I have two shots of gin in me, and I’m listening to Hemingway’s “Pretend to Care” for the first time. There’s some grunge in there somewhere, then some of that same stuff that laced every Thursday record, but I can’t forget got the slow-burn-swagger that gave Nirvana personal hit after personal hit. In my imagination, I lift my hand and stare at this blood that’s oozing across my palm. It’s the same blood that ran through my veins as a 16 year old heartbroken kid. I’m lying flat on my back on my old bed. This weird grey/red paisley comforter my mom got on sale at Macy’s is all that separates me from the sheets I haven’t changed in probably five weeks. I haven’t thought about that comforter in years. As I listen in the present I wonder; what kind of record could possibly bring that crisp image to mind 15 years later? Back in time, I’ve pretended to be sick for two weeks to avoid all the garbage socialization I have to deal with as a teenager in a tech high school. I know in a major way I’m too book-smart for this institution. But I’m too lazy to apply myself. I’ll just turn the music up. I’ll fudge my homework in homeroom in the morning. I’ll get a B. Good enough. All I can think about is how I’m supposed to push away these thoughts, foster others. But how can I when all I’m listening to is Jaw Breaker’s “Dear You” …? This record is not just some rip-off. It’s a blender without a lid, pouring it’s contents all over the counter of my adult mind, raining down chunks and juices from my first 16 years. There I am lying on this comforter, listening to “Dear You,” raw emotional pain expanding and contracting the veins on my left and right temples. Each slam on the bass drum is what’s sending the blood out of my heart and down a waterslide into my feet and back again. Summarized A++, four out of four stars, best thing I’ve heard in years. “Why does waking up have to be so hard?” Maybe it’s just the gin. In any case, thanks for the tip.