Quarterbacks, “Center”

Jayson Greene

By Jayson Greene

on 11.20.14 in Listen to This

How’s this for an opening gambit: “Saw your bike on the front porch, saw the light up in your window/ Thought about knocking on your door/ But I was concerned that you had somebody over, I was concerned you were alone.” Dean Engle, the lead singer and songwriter of the winsome DIY punk concern Quarterbacks, is a shrewd writer, with an eye for yearning, small-scale stories like this. “Center,” the new single from Quarterbacks’ upcoming self-titled album (out February 10 on Team Love) moves forward unsteadily on a racing dune-buggy pulse, the drum beat only occasionally bumping elbows with the messily chording guitar, giving the impression everyone hastily grabbed instruments when Engler openend his mouth. Engler’s thoughts jerk the song forward, and when it builds to his dawning realization — “As I get older, I recongize that love/ Is mostly situational” — the song breaks apart and disperses, as if Engler has startled and saddened himself into silence.