Not a lot of heavy, passionate hardcore bands live up to the most honest and crushing intentions of those adjective. Our Detroit colleagues from GREAT REVERSALS have already garnered plenty of fair comparisons to the greats of the golden hardcore era, but their newest floor-shaking and thunderous LP cements their own identity and expands their powerful style that’s admirably fed by smart and thought-provoking lyrics. Over 2 years since their last album premiere here on IDIOTEQ, we’re beyond stoked to give you the full stream of “Stalactite”, along with an insightful track by track commentary below!
“Stalactite” will be released as a one sided LP in November 1st via Dropping Bombs (US) and Ugly & Proud Records (EU). The album was recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson at Bricktop Recording, May 2018, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, June 2018, and features artwork by Brian Sheehan/Legerdemain Art.
Trepidatiously, I stepped across the line, scraping just enough courage to make this new world mine.
Father by my side, we shook hands with the wolf in disguise. The lore you spun and the law you loomed, nothing short of divine. Our weakness whet your appetite, you sold us the limit of the skies.
We sought sage and you helped us know it.
We desired wisdom, you claimed you could grow it. We needed a sword, you knew exactly how to forge it. But the blade cut both ways.
Time punished hands turned claws. A stained smile revealed fangs in a crushing jaw. With patience and discipline you took root and claimed our youth.
We were young and couldn’t escape the serenade of the wolf’s tongue. We couldn’t see the den we were among. We were too young.
‘No Mind’ is about the people in our lives who live in disguise, those who build trust for devious reasons, and those who wrestle with demons they often can’t control. After ten years of training in my childhood it came to light that my karate instructor had been sexually molesting some of my peers, leading to a conviction on two counts and jail time. He loomed like a god to most of us, seemingly indestructible and incorruptible, capable of anything and wise about everything. He was spellbinding in a way I’d never experienced, it was exactly what I wanted, what I believed I needed. I’m nothing but lucky to have somehow avoided being one of his targets. This song stands with anyone who has had the sacred innocence of childhood breached by an adult with ugly intentions.
Blood and Bone
What is it about blood and bone that asks tradition and belief to calcify to stone? And if these fossils lose their throne how do we face the unknown?
With the ideas of vanquished foes we’ve built fortresses preserving antiquity, immortalizing our echoes. When the first pebble was laid and fate became the mortar to atone, was any mercy shown?
And when one of our own walks out all alone will we force ourselves to disown? And if he returns red in tooth and claw will we bare our throats and admit if doubt was sown?
And if he returns in love will we be brave enough to beg forgiveness and pray we’ve grown? How could we have known? And if he forgives will we find the courage to hold each other close and release these echoes of our blood and bone? How could we have known?
May we insist that the future is not written in stone.
I’ve written a lot about faith-based belief systems over the years, this is another way of wondering about how and why we pass belief systems down through generations and how these beliefs manage to stay intact over time. This is a tale somewhat inspired by the story of The Prodigal Son, but in this case the son returns and his loved ones meet him where he is, rather than the usual ending where he returns to their fold and concedes to their way of thinking. This song follows a line of questioning that challenges believers to see beyond the exclusive nature of their belief system and hold close those who can’t believe as they do.
All I am steeped in the waters of space and time. Diluted by heartache and of hopes unrealized.
In desperation I extend toward you, leaving parts of me behind. Meet me between two unseens, I need to know I’m alive.
Meet me between two unseens, I need to know I have value in your eyes.
This song is about trying to find connection with another person, giving of yourself to achieve it, and hoping someone meets you in the middle. Relationships often form with time and pressure, the same way things tend to form in nature, the same way stalactites give of themselves to create stalagmites.
The Rattlesnake King
Give me guidance I cannot comprehend, a belonging unnatural to lonely men. Give me answers that make just enough sense, a family that has no beginning or end.
Give me a destiny great minds have imagined, a purpose that transcends trend, a template on which I can depend.
Give me the wool to pull over my eyes and feed me candy-coated lies.
I’ll salvage your snake oil, I’ll purchase your bridge, just show me love no one else would give.
The Rattlesnake King came together after hearing an interview with cult specialist, Steven Hassan, who works with families to break the spell cults develop over their loved ones. As he explained how these personalities and their beliefs can take hold everything he said felt familiar, having been enamored with the big personalities in my life and their beliefs. This also applies to faith systems that are more widely accepted, but which also make outlandish promises to their subscribers. As humans it seems our need for love, acceptance, and approval can lead us down strange paths in order to gain these, or a semblance of these. This song admits my own weakness for these needs and my continual longing to feel I belong to a team within the various facets of my adult identity.
Shrine To Demons
Having learned how not to think, having learned how not to feel, still it clutches at the throat and gut, it sucks the air from your lungs.
Peering down the stairwell to where it happened, that moment of mortality, the time, the space, the memory asks my heart to race a thousand miles per hour.
As he forced himself and flaunted his power, and took and took and took from us. Did he not know what he was doing? That fucking coward.
Did he not know what part of our soul he devoured? Did he not know how many he was ruining? That fucking coward. Did he not know?
Did he not know?
And yet I live, and yet I love, all while he feeds the soil, finally giving back to this world in the fields and the flowers.
I discovered the comedian, Barry Crimmins, after he passed away early last year. In his wake several media outlets aired interviews he did the last few years of his life, mostly regarding the 2015 documentary, Call Me Lucky, which chronicles Crimmins’ career, political activism, and crusade against internet child pornography. What is revealed over the course of the doc is that, spoiler alert, the source of his on-stage vitriol against the Catholic church and other authorities that manipulate and exploit is rooted in his repeated rape as a four year old by a male family member of his babysitter’s. In interviews surrounding the release of Call Me Lucky, Crimmins was asked what he’d say to the man who took so much from him if he had the opportunity. He said he would simply let him know he survived and he learned to thrive despite what the man did to him. This song stands with all survivors of sexual abuse and hopes to be a lens for empathy.
Little Did You Know
Little did you know I was always there, I saw you try to stop and fail. I watched you agonize as the light left her eyes and her breath turned stale.
Maybe she was unknown, maybe she was all alone.
And as you broke the Earth I felt your shame and as you laid her in I felt your strain. As the chasm leveled and the soil settled her shallow grave gave birth to hope.
Maybe she was unknown, maybe she was all alone.
Everyone needs something to believe in….
Everyone needs something to believe in: “all things happen for a reason.” Everyone needs something: “she must’ve had it coming.” Everyone needs something to believe in: “god works in mysterious ways or maybe she’s in a better place.”
I see your sunken eyes, I watch you swallow lies, I see you scour sadness, suffering away nights, endlessly vying to turn wrongs into rights. I see you giving all you have to bring back the light.
Find your belief and sing it to the sky, sing its song until you die. Find your belief and sing it to the sky, sing its song until you die…but know in your heart she won’t forgive you and neither will I.
Following through the eyes of an all-seeing observer, this is a tale of a man who covers up a life ending accident and returns to his life, never confessing what he did. It wonders about how we comfort ourselves amidst things we don’t understand, what we tell ourselves to justify our behaviors, and how we wrestle with the ghosts of regret. I’m regularly astounded by how often moments of my past zap themselves into my mind for no apparent reason, particularly the moments I wish hadn’t happened. The staying power of our regrets and how we allow them to wield power over our present is something ever present in my writing.
GREAT REVERSALS live dates:
Thursday, November 1st in Trenton, New Jersey at The Championship Bar with Dissent, Sunstroke Tantrum and Playter Hater
Friday, November 2nd in Baltimore at The Sidebar with Iron price, Dissent. and more
Saturday, November 3rd in Mount Arlington New Jersey at Pat’s Bar with Hundreds of Au and more
Sunday, November 4th in Buffalo at Sugar City with Old Ghosts and more
Saturday, December 8th Record Release Show in Royal Oak, Michigan Details TBA
Saturday December 15th in South Bend, Indiana with Enemy of Creation and more