Sounds really terrifying, right? :D That’s basically how I translate these guys’ work, as it really hits the nail on the head and sparks my imagination. REPROACHER hails from Cheyenne, Wyoming and delivers a massive wall of metallic hardcore sound mixed with rumbling blasts of low vocals. Fiercely pissed off, ready to plough your mind wide and deep.
I met up with the band to discuss their upcoming new album “Nothing To Save”, their local scene and a lot of fun stuff! Check it out to convince yourself that they are not the devils, and this music is being made by real living humans :)
Finally I have a chance to talk to a band from Wyoming [smiles]. Good to have you here, guys. What’s up? How are you?
Thanks! We appreciate you taking the time to talk. I guess I’m not hugely surprised we’re the first band from Wyoming you’ve spoken to [laughs]. We’re hanging in there, always staying busy.
What brings you here, on this beautiful winter evening (the weather in Warsaw is unbelievable this Easter!) [smiles], is your brand new album called “Nothing To Save”. It serves a very nice follow-up to your 2011’s self-released outing. How’s this new project going?
Right on, we’re finally seeing some warmer weather out here too. “Nothing to Save” is something we’ve been working on since the end of tour last summer. Actually, some of the songs were written before tour, but it was really put together as an EP after the tour. We just got the master back last week and we are extremely happy with the finished product. We are talking to some labels about putting it out, so hopefully we’ll see a hard copy this year, but if not the digital version should be available with a few weeks.
Yup, you’ve been recording it in Salt Lake City, 440 miles from Cheyenne, right? In terms of recording, what are some of the major differences between your 2011 project and the creation of this new album?
Yes, we drove out to Salt Lake City for the third time in a row to record with Andy Patterson. It is a bit of a drive, but we love working with Andy and spending time in SLC so it works out. In terms of differences between the 2011 records and this one is that for the S/T LP and tape EP, we recorded all the instruments live, where as this last time we tracked everything. It took some more time, but ended up working out a lot better. For mastering this time, we went with Jack from PunkControl and were really impressed with the job he did. Anything else engineering or gear wise we did differently TJ or Jon or Jarret would have to answer that for my dumb, ignorant ass. Musically, again one of the other guys might want to add something, but we are excited for people to be hearing these songs. I’ll use some cliches here and say the writing is more “focused” and “driven,” but I think it’s true because in 2011, we hadn’t really been on the road much and we’d only played together for a year so we hadn’t quite tied down what we were really going for. A lot of young bands have to take a couple jabs at what they’re going for and miss, while older people who have been touring for 10+ years and writing/recording songs for 12+ years just know exactly what they want and exactly how to do it. It’s the case with us, I think, so now after playing who the fuck knows how many shows and recording with the same engineer with the same line-up three times, we feel a lot more confident in the material being what we want to represent with this band.
Good to hear that! What about the distribution? You’ve been talking to some labels, right? Can you reveal some details on that? When you’ll gonna be on Deathwish? [smiles]
Why? Did Deathwish say something?? [laughs] just kidding. I’m afraid at this point I can’t really reveal any details about what’s been going on there. It’s super secret. Originally we had intended to have the record out before tour in July, but that may not be possible at this point, so it could be awhile before any kind of agreement is reached. Safe to say, we want people to hear it as soon as possible and we are dying to see it printed so we’re not going to make it wait any longer than we have to.
Do you feel you followed the avowed path of blackened metallic hardcore punk stylistics on this new album? How do you try to model your style?
Um, I mean, I think we know that the songs we play fall into a category that a lot of other bands play right now. We enjoy all those bands and we were inspired by the same bands they were inspired by, but I don’t know if we set out to make a record that fit into a mold, ya know? We know what we want to play and we have a sound that fits us and our taste. I don’t know if I could identify something that sets us apart and we’re not looking to be on the creative cutting edge; we just play what seems right. We all like a lot of different kinds of music and some of us play in bands that are very different and we love, but this band is really the most honest look at us as people. If that ends up sounding like metallic hardcore/punk then right on! I feel flattered to be part of such a genre.
What bands are exciting you these days?
[laughs] This list could end up getting pretty longwinded so i’ll try to keep it concise and to the heavy stuff. As far as for me I love HEARTLESS, BAPTISTS, ILSA, FALSE LIGHT, IRON LUNG, BASTARD FEAST (formerly ELITIST PDX), EARLY GRAVES, PRAY FOR TEETH, CENTURIES, INTER ARMA, CRUCIAMENTUM, WEREGOAT, DIOCLETIAN, RITUAL NECROMANCY, ABYSSAL, VORUM, ANTEDILUVIAN, AFGRUND, ROTTEN SOUND, etc etc etc. Of course the new NAILS is the shit. As far as locals in Denver, there are a bunch of really awesome, relevant bands but just to name a few: CALL OF THE VOID, OF FEATHER AND BONE, PRIMITIVE MAN, GRAVETORN. And check out THE SUICIDE VIRUS and 666 PACK from Wyoming.
Alright, back to your new album, you enclosed a nice commentary to your lyrics (see below), so I won’t ask you about the meaning of the lyrics and your inspirations – I know the radio is everything that defines you [laughs]. What are some of your lyrics that are closest to your heart and why?
Yes, the radio is our rhyme and reason [laughs]. On this record, as with our past ones, TJ wrote half the lyrics and i like the songs he wrote better than mine. However, I’d hate to speak for a song he wrote, so of the ones I wrote, the one that means the most to me is “Casemate.” (You can hear a live version of the song in the last video we posted.) It kind of explains where I’m at in this stage of my life where I’m older than I feel and I have to come to terms with the limitations of life being so short. You wake up one day and realize you blew through 10 years and it makes you wonder how fast the next 10 will go by. There’s defnitely a theme of reproaching myself in the lyrics I write. Maybe I need to read a book about improving self-confidence or something; “Chicken Soup for the Pessimistic Malcontent’s Soul,” does that exist?
Sure! I’m one [laughs]. I believe the thought about how fast the next 10 years will go doesn’t need to be worrying. It can push you to improve you life actually. Have you had some healing moments that changed your life?
Absolutely! I’m aware that I tend to come off as bleak, but I’m really not a walking storm cloud. The first thing that comes to mind is that tour has been one of the most enlightening and life-changing experiences I’ve had. Especially in the middle of nowhere where we live, I think the world is almost so big that it is surreal and to actually get out there and connect and make friends with people that are so far away distance-wise, but so close in commonalities that it contributes to your understanding of people and diversity in a way that’s difficult to explain. You realize that people are people wherever you go and anyone who says “people from this place are this way” don’t know what they’re talking about. You can really take that idea and run if you want to relate to a bigger picture, if that makes sense.
What’s the farthest you have ever traveled from home?
I suppose Florida. It was definitely worth the drive though, Florida is awesome for this kind of music. We got to swim in Tampa Bay where we saw a dolphin. And Taco Bus. Holy fucking Taco Bus, gotta check it out. Overall just a great experience.
And how was your last year’s summer tour? Was it your first proper tour with the band?
Last summer’s tour was awesome. It was the first time we had gone out on our own; the other two tours we’d done were with DEATH OF SELF and CLINGING TO THE TREES OF FOREST FIRE. We met some really amazing people, saw a lot of cool shit, played with great bands and occasionally ate killer food (Spak Bros in Pittsburgh, holy shit). 38 days can be draining, but it also got us pumped to do it over and over again and hopefully to further horizons! (Poland? Maybe?)
Yeah, man. Seriously, are there any real plans to go overseas?
[laughs] Not exactly at the moment. We would definitely love to make it over the pond at some point but it hasn’t been a realistic possibility yet for us. PRIMITIVE MAN is going to Europe this summer, so maybe we’ll see some plans in the works after that. It’d be an excellent goal for 2014.
What have you heard about European punk?
Life’s cruel, bro [laughs] .
I’ve heard that European punk has a thriving community that is very supportive of DIY bands and really does it right when it comes to putting together shows and taking care of the musicians. Of course, not to knock the people who do it right in the States, but I have been told that bands are treated well consistently in Europe. Not to mention you have some of the absolute best bands. We talk about touring Europe all the time and I know that, just like anything in DIY music, you can take initiative to accomplish anything you want, but we’ll need to get some logistical issues in order before it’s possible (such as printing the new record).
And what are your thoughts about Europe in general? Are you tempted to travel to any of the spots located in the Old Continent?
I actually traveled to Germany in 2000 and spent three weeks there as part of a student exchange program. What could I say about it? It was an indescribable experience that I could probably ramble on and on about. It’s just incredible to walk on sidewalks that are 600 years old you know? We don’t have that in the States. I hope someday that I can see more of the continent. I am pretty into history and Europe is full of that so playing shows would not be the only thing on my mind if we went over there for a tour.
Great to hear that. You should definitely check out Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Albania, Scandinavia and Central-Eastern parts of Europe, including Poland [smiles].
So where are you heading to promote the new album now? Are you already booking?
Yes, I would love to go to all those places [laughs]. As a matter of fact, I have always been especially fascinated with Eastern Europe; I’d love to see Poland-such a rich history.
We have begun booking the tour, I’ll include an itinerary will all the available venues for your followers in the States. Yesterday we got together and had a great practice in preparation for our very hectic schedule leading up to tour. We are playing local shows seemingly non-stop with some really sick touring bands that all leads up to our 38 city coast-to-coast dates with PRIMITIVE MAN in the trippy van. It’s a very exciting for us as it looks to be the most fun and hopefully most productive schedule we’ve had as musicians.
What’s the timetable for the trek?
7/12-pueblo, co @ Phil’s Radiator
7/13-el paso, tx @lovesprout
7/14-Las Cruces, NM @ The Trainyard
7/15-san antonio, tx @ The korova basement
7/16-austin, tx @ red 7 (probably. will know more after sxsw)
7/18-oklahoma city, ok*
7/19-little rock, ark
7/20-nashville, tn @The Owl Farm
7/21-Columbia, SC @Conundrum Music Hall
7/23-miami, fl @ Church hill’s pub
7/26-Atlanta, GA @ 529
7/27-baltimore, md @ sidebar
7/28-philadelphia, pa @the Pariah
7/29-brooklyn, ny @ st. vitus w/ the communion, tba
7/30-long island, ny @ Even Flow
8/1-rochester, ny @ the bug Jar
8/4-detroit, mi @ the rockery
8/7-omaha,ne @ west wing
8/8-denver,co @ Stout House
8/9-boise, id @ the shredder
8/10-richland,wa @ ray’s golden lion
8/12-seattle, wa @The black Lodge
8/13-DAY OFF. hang out in portland. adam said he would put us up.
8/14-portland, OR@Ash St. Saloon
8/15-sacramento, ca@oak park boiz house
8/16-oakland, ca (deadfest)
8/18-los ángeles, ca**
8/19-murrietta, ca @ the dial
8/20-las vegas, nv
8/21-salt lake city, ut @ shred shed
Was it a struggle to put it together?
Well not so much for me this time, because Ethan from PRIMITIVE MAN has been setting the bulk of the dates up [laughs]. But he has been on the road a lot longer than us and knows a lot more people and he’s the hardest working man I know in extreme music to boot. It’s a lot to live up to. Seriously though, it is a lot of work, especially at our level where many times, people are taking a chance because they haven’t heard of your band and don’t know you personally. I need to acknowledge some of the great people out there who book shows and take care of bands proper, like Ethan does in Denver and we try to do in Cheyenne when it’s possible. Without individuals who go through the hassle (and it is a fucking hassle sometimes) of putting a show together, getting people there and making sure the band is safe and sound, there would be no tours on this level. It’s truly incredible.
Yup. I truly admire such people.
Tell me, guys. Do you all come from one city? Have you lived somewhere other than the Magic City of the Plains?
Jarret, TJ and I (Joel) all met in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I know they were born in other places, I believe Oklahoma and Iowa, but I was born in Cheyenne. Jon is from Denver, born and raised, and he moved to Cheyenne for a little over a year when he first joined the band. Today, I live in Laramie (45 miles west of Cheyenne), TJ lives in Ft. Collins (45 miles south of Cheyenne in Colorado), Jon moved back to Denver and Jarret is the only one who remains in Cheyenne. We don’t get to see one another as often as we’d like to, we are all close friends, but we make it work. And when we do get to see each other it’s always a really fun time. Someday, we’ll be reunited. I have not lived anywhere outside of Wyoming, but I think when I am done with university, I may try living in another state for a while. I’m not giving up on Wyoming forever, but it’s been frustrating as a musician at times. There are great people there who are into really good, relevant music, we have the best record store in the region (besides maybe a spot or two in Colorado, but seriously every other state in the region cannot touch our store, Ernie November), but I would like to try something new. We’ll see.
What’s the most frustrating about it? A lack of shows?
Well where we live, you kinda have to space out the shows you play or else you’re that band people just see all the time. Even in Denver, it’s not like Portland or something where there are shows every night and you can play for different crowds of people every night. We like to have it a little spaced-out with our local shows so that’s it’s something special when we do play. For us, there are definitely down times where not much is happening to the point I get pretty depressed about it and active times where I start to feel a little overwhelmed because we are constantly having to travel down to the city. I like to think it all balances out in the end. For me the hardest part of being apart is missing my friends.
Would you consider coming back to Cheyenne and settling in there? Do people complain about employment problems there?
I don’t think it’s out of the scope of possibility, because my family lives there. As far as employment, I don’t know anywhere in the states that doesn’t have a slowed down economy. Wyoming certainly has a buffer some other places don’t, but no place is immune. My issues with Cheyenne don’t have to do with employment, it’s more the dominant culture that I can’t stand.
How does it achieve its dominance?
Well, it’s more the PREVAILING culture, I should have said. Cheyenne is really a rodeo/rancher community, and that’s fine if it’s your thing, but it’s not for me. It’s a real good-ole’-boy city where the men who know the right people get what they want, if that makes sense. If you want to promote punk shows or run an independent record store or anything off the grid of the interests of the good ole’ boys, you’ll be struggling. You know, even non-chain restaurants struggle in our community while Olive Garden in the Mall parking lot will thrive here for 20, 30 years, the foreseeable future. It’s frustrating, but the community doesn’t want anything more than that, or at least they’re not willing to fight for it. As a result, any diversity in culture is expelled. Not explicitly repressed, but more systematically flushed out. For music and art culture, it’s been a long 15 years trying and trying to see something happen here with a stable venue or building a supportive scene and seeing nothing but failure failure failure. People have suggested in the past that we weren’t working hard enough or not doing something right, but I’d love to see someone come in and show me how it’s done against a city that wants to see you fail and a community that does not care. We still have shows at our record store Ernie November and it’s a just short of a miracle we have that. Thank our lucky stars for having that.
Does it mean indie / punk rock is a huge niche over there? How did you get into such music and way of life having no environment to support it?
On a handful of occasions we have seen some really good, respectable bands come through. Exhumed, who I love, played the record store in Cheyenne recently on an on off-the-cuff last minute show. THE CASUALTIES and TOXIC HOLOCAUST recently played a bar venue in Cheyenne. It happens, but it’s unpredictable. In Cheyenne, we have had some major label acts come through in the last couple of years, couldn’t say it’s anything I care for or could even necessarily recall. STATIC X was one [laughs]. Sometimes mid-level open-E-chug-chug bands made up of cute white guys with huge gauges and neon letters on their shirts have good turn outs I have heard, but never that I’ve witnessed. Again, I don’t think I could name one band. In Laramie, blue grass is huge, and that’s fine, but I could not care less about a bunch of hipster-hippie cross breeds and their bar shows.
For us to get into what we did, hmmm, that could be sort of a long answer, but I’ll try to keep it short. When I was young and the internet had not really expanded to the point it has now (at least not for me), I was fortunate to be friends with people who turned me on to more extreme kinds of music. Lots of zines, buying CDs of bands I’d never heard of, going to Denver shows, things like that. Today, you can get into whatever you want as long as someone is there to turn you onto it. I mean someone can say “you should check out CONVERGE” and all you do is follow lead after lead about what to get into via the internet. Lastfm, spotify, bandcamp, blogspots, it’s all there telling you what you’ll like based on your preference. So really, it’s not that hard to find a unique kind of music today if you want to seek it out. Certainly though, no matter how far the internet can reach, there is still that geographic buffer between the Midwest and the urban centers so obviously people in those places will have more access to shows, records, meeting people in bands, etc.
How many people came to the gigs you mentioned (THE CASUALTIES, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, STATIC X – I bet you were there)? [smiles]
I did not make it to STATIC X, intentionally or unintentionally? [winks] But I couldn’t say I remember how many people were there. Maybe 100+? I heard that THE CASUALTIES/TOXIC HOLOCAUST show had something like 200 people there and I know that for example when GOATWHORE and on another occasion when THE RED CHORD played free shows at the record store, there were between 150 and 200 people there. The WEEKEND NACHOS /DEAD IN THE DIRT show here last summer, which obviously doesn’t have as many listeners as GOATWHORE or THE RED CHORD, still had about 75-80 people. There are 60,000 people in the city and 500,000 in the state so per capita, I don’t know if that evens out exactly. It’s a tough place to pull off large shows because the city goes to any length it can to hold you back. There are a lot of silly rules with alcohol sales and how many police you need to hire for security and demanding insurance policies all this bullshit designed to make it difficult or unaffordable to pull off a rock show not sanctioned by the local good-ole-boys in charge. They have this yearly celebration in July called Frontier Days with shows every night for two weeks where they get shit like JOURNEY and BROOKS AND DUNN, etc. and the Frontier Days committee works in cooperation with their friends in local government to exercise a predatory-monopolistic attitude towards other promoters. You’d almost have to live here to believe it. Wild fuckin west, power to the sheriff kinda vibe.
Yup, it wasn’t that long ago, huh? [smiles] What’s unique and super cool about the place though?
Any of the benefits of it being a non-urban center are okay. Clean air, limited pollution, 15 minute maximum travel time in the city, etc. There’s no property tax here, which is nice but I don’t know if I agree with [laughs]. We have fantastic outdoor areas. I have friends that ride mountain bike trails and a bunch of friends that ski/snowboard. Of course everyone loves camping and it’s great because it’s free and you can find a place that’s still relatively isolated from other people. We have some truly remarkable people here and I have had some great times in Wyoming, sometimes because of where I live, sometimes in spite of where I live.
Alright.. one more. You stated that you “can’t stand to watch most mainstream movies”. What pictures would you like to recommend then?
Oh man [laughs]. I didn’t mean to make it seem like I only watch black and white French films with no dialogue or something; I’m not smart enough to be pretentious. But to name a few I’ve watched in the last couple of weeks, let’s see: “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is absolutely amazing. Stanley Kubrick is no doubt one of the greatest American filmmakers, but this one really hits a home run. Peter Sellers (plays 3 roles in the film) and George C. Scott are uproariously funny and the movie had such an impact that it changed US nuclear policy. “Wesley Willis’s Joy Rides” is a documentary about Wesley Willis (you’ve either heard of him or you haven’t, he’s tough to explain) and I’m biased to like this one because Mr. Willis lived in Cheyenne for a period and I got the chance to meet him when I was a kid. It has a lot to say on many different levels from mental illness and disability to trying to determine what makes art art and it’s funny and touching and smart. Great movie. I’ll wrap up with what is maybe my all-time favorite that I haven’t watched lately but always bring up: “There Will Be Blood.” Daniel Day-Lewis is devastating. Best story, best score, best lead character, can’t top it for me.
Ha! You made it without the high-handed French movies [laughs]
Alright. What else? Feel free to add anything you want!
Thanks a lot for the interest in our musical quartet! I enjoyed the talk and hopefully we’ll see you in Europe soon!
I hope so! Thanks!
Live photos by Liz Osban.
“Nothing To Save” album lyrics & commentary
heist of faith, clear as that
revelations unveiled as youth departs
soulless bodies with arid hearts
cheerless, brimmed with regret
years passed, wasted
the ones who make it out will be widows too
the certainty of suffering, nothing is more true
contempt of being alone
the calluses grow
try and fail
i was listening to an episode of radio lab where the topic was theories of consciousness after death (which i think is bullshit) and this guy, david eagleman, described it as a place where “moments do not endure.” in life, moments do endure. things that happened in an instant years and miles away stretch out and follow me around wherever i go. a “casemate” is a small space in something like the wall of an ancient city or a fortress which functions as an armored enclosure during battle (or for storage). as i come to terms with my past failures and losses, i am increasingly skeptical and pessimistic and i think i just don’t try to connect with people anymore. it turns to shit every time and i don’t have anyone to blame but myself. i put up barriers to vulnerability and i thought a “casemate” was a decent metaphor. it sucks during the times i’m lonely, but i just endure my days and carry on.
of the outcomes set before us its confounding to be here
breath is short, aching bones of stagnant unfledged fear
a construct manipulated, allure of attainment
but potential has been cashed out to the point of being spent
tight shut eyes
take one back
to better times
like a dream
inside a nightmare
where all’s going to be quite far away from fine
a desperate search for cure
breaking hearts to fix broken hearts
character in a blur
never in reach
sealing this fate with a cursory kiss
bodies entwined in liars bliss
a sophists seduction for which we always fall
sun sets, another squander
redemption’s road getting longer
struggles, too heavy to bare
sardonic vision, remarks: derision
weary of callow hopes
minutes pass, full tilt brash
the fleeting will to cope
viable, but burned
the lesson learned
in a hex of loneliness
A “Sophist,” in this context, refers to a person who reasons with clever, but fallacious arguments. In retrospect, every time i have been let down or hurt, it’s my own fault, because though i go into things knowing full well that there is a very slim chance of it turning out favorably, i still dive in and eventually things fall apart. i see it for what it was and curse myself all to hell for falling for it again. we convince ourselves that things will work out, because we want them to, but that doesn’t make it so.
4. AVERSE ARREST
for pill pop cures
and slim waste lines
without the work
indoctrinated masses revere the newsman
who’s selling stories between the ads
patsy of the scheme
victimized in a dream
of a world conceived
to consolidate the means
the poor man
with the gun
assault rifle protection
its natural selection
for the starving
through hours and years, they are exposed
monopolized for the consumer drone
selling power of violence is met with silence
celebrity killers rank for villain of the year
opinions have two options:
pick one A or B
the gatekeepers with all the answers
to the sponsored way to think
awaiting the day
it finally breaks
This song is about some of my views on the media in america. in short, its a scam that’s becoming more corrupt with time. the news is secondary to the advertisements, because that’s where the money is made and every decision comes down to their fiscal bottom line. George Gerbner describes the paradigm that the media has created as causing a “mean world syndrome” where the media has us convinced that the world is a terrifying place. this keeps us locked inside, glued to our tvs, waiting to be told what to think while poor black men with illegal firearms ruin the world. its kept people consuming and keeps them dependent on the medications and the fast food and soda.
From the hull
From the face
From the body
That used to walk upright
And wear a smile
And force a thought
To burn the house down
So it looked
Like something never lost
And walk away
Fuck the game
That I’ve learned
And all the guilt
That I’ve gained
Of What I’ve lost
Our failed love
All the friends
That you bought
The abandoned bed
Where you slept
The empty wrists
That you bled
Dead, cold, lost
A sad bitter ghost
That took all their love
And buried it. Lost.
this song is about how my outlook is often cornered into idealogical failsafes by the negative events or circumstances of my life. it’s about loss, and how that loss has the ability to change us, and turn us into cynical absolutists who have nothing to offer to others. i feel as though my social negativism cheapens my rational thought, and that i really don’t have anything to bring to the table because of this. i do not take advantage of the remarkable people and aspects of my life because i often get caught into a rut of total pessimism.
6. MARGINAL BEING
You tie their hands
And break their backs
Into corners and into the cracks
Give them purpose and false value
Tell him it will all be okay
Every man has his day
His express train to a life that isn’t his
He’s got the bottle or the pipe
To lift the weight from his mind
To find comfort in the gutter
Give him hands to buy
A culture to sustain his hope
And to the martyrs
The few and few
The lost blood that soaks the roots
Exemplified, eternalized, in the truth
Who died for nothing and everything too
The land where a thought meets a bullet
Marked for death
Like a curse
On the skull
Sold pain for pleasure
Head held under
The death mask calm ever on
The legs aren’t moving
The body’s left
It’s fucking dead
All these years
the societal symptoms described in this song are the intentional goals of a ruling class, who sees to keep the majority of individuals of this country misinformed, confused, aggravated, and controlled. we are given tastes beyond our financial capabilities to perpetuate a cycle of debt and servitude. their heads will always be held under as long as this system exists, and as long as these pipedream values are instilled. a marginal man was a person who lived on the fringe of american civilization during the great depression. they essentially were outcasts who didn’t have the means to survive within the system. it’s interesting that someone was doing that for real reasons long before a bunch of suburban white kids were.
8. THE CHAMPION IS FUCKED (INDICTMENT)
moments of peace
are more or less filling
struggle, the starving
more than a theory
savor the smell as enemies burn
eager smile executioner
compassion’s flight with a lions face
dominion has an arousing taste
this is your indictment
more than that, it fulfills
an indictment of myself
we’re driven to this vice
horns head to head
manifest advisory’s right
play the game you can never win
and you’ll see
stoic and composed
of having nothing
those without want
the champion is fucked
in another episode of radio lab (goddamnit i’m lame) and they was a segment describing alpha gorillas and how it’s a fierce struggle to get to the top and you’re never there long. they noticed that these competitive beasts would burn a lot of bridges in trying to become the alpha and after they were defeated and replaced, they would be exiled from their group, because they shit on everyone to get there. they have to go out and try to find a new collective that will tolerate them and they live the rest of their lives as these scarred, bitter, outcasts. on the other hand, the gorillas that had settled for a middle of the road status tended to live a relatively peaceful and healthy life. this song just ended up being about the treachery in greedy ambition (which is something americans love) and how it doesn’t just hurt others, but we destroy ourselves in that pursuit. we all covet on some level and you need to in order to be ambitious, but i think the people who are the fiercest competitors lose sight some of the things that make life decent in their selfish pursuit of success.
9. A NEW DARK AGE
a homemade bomb on his chest
ground shakes, he heads to heaven
indentured, for the pitch
the reason the poor don’t kill the rich
the god-fearing way
the smoking gun they can’t discern
while their city on the hill burns
what it is and will become
calamity our gift to sons
fundamentalist approaches to religion are fucked. neil de grasse tyson gave a talk where he described how arabs were on top of the world in every facet from science and technology to economics, you name it (i.e. arab numerals). in the 12th century, an iman declared science and mathematics to be evil and said they should take a fundamentalist islamic approach to life. now, the arab world is, well, what it is. and that’s what christian fundamentalists want here. i’m not one of those people that’s not religious, but doesn’t really have a problem with religion. what can i say about the monotheistic faiths that hasn’t been said a thousand times, more eloquently by someone far more intelligent? i think it’s dangerous and i applaud when i see more and more people leaving churches. i should also say that “the reason the poor don’t kill the rich” was said by napoleon and i stole it, but he’s dead, so fuck it.
10. CRIPPLED WOLVES
like a stiff drink
on your knees
when it’s spun cunningly
converted masses gleam
behind the ideals
on the face of wanton greed
projected self perception
on the page and silver screen
the vexes ail us
are pacified, you see
agents of seduction
keep shoppers breeding
the scarcity of details
redacted and redeemed
agents of seduction
make myths reality
the men at the top
the wolves of the flock
the men behind the heroes are the wolves of the flock
libertines of the profit with our future on lock
converted masses gleam
the story of our success
redacted and redeemed
i can’t stand to watch most mainstream movies, because i don’t buy this perfect hero, evil bad guy thing. that’s not how the world works. people are complex. its an over simplification of life and people live in that, because the complexity of the real world is too hard to deal with.
11. NEW SKIN
With lost shape
And crooked limbs
Tune out the crushing weight
Bear your wounds
And bleed out
I’ll be here
With new skin
Ripping nails from the coffins
this song is about learning to turn adolescent angst and aggression into something productive, constructive, or directed. it’s about developing new outlooks that are rational and fair to the world around you. possibly the most positive song on the album. i’m still as pissed off as i was when i was a teenager, only now i understand why i am that way, and i have formed new abilities to counteract and enact that previous rage. scratch that, i’m way more pissed off now.