Sound Check

by Sculpted Static

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1.
Narc 04:45
Times are tough and they're getting worse Better watch out if you don't like the hearse There's a war out there, out on those "mean streets" I'm just another cop on a deadly beat Dealing with the dealers Yeah we always find some more We get them with eight kilos But we only turn in four Users and abusers Yeah we'll book 'em for a while If we sell some on the side We'll give you service with a smile And then you yell, "Corruption" And make it seem a crime We're doin' our best to serve you We're making bad guys die. Rodney and the riots And the lawsuits on the way I only bagged three DUIs While driving here today Another trial, another trial It's vigilante's hell But hey, at least down here We got no goddamn Chandra L. And then you smell, "Corruption" And make it seem a crime We're doin' our best to serve you We're making bad guys cry. Times are tough and they're getting worse Better watch out if you don't like the hearse There's a war out there, out on those "mean streets" Just another cop, another deadbeat Today I'm gonna change And I am going out to fight I'm gonna find some criminals And bring them to the light I'll put on my narcotics badge Inherit someone's stash 'Cause after all, What kind of jerk don't want some extra cash? And if I sell "Destruction" And do it on your time I'm doin' our best to serve you I'm making bad guys sigh. Times are tough and they're getting worse Better watch out if you don't like the hearse There's a war out there, out on those "mean streets" I'm just another cop on a dead beat
2.
UFO 06:21
I was riding on my horse one day When I saw a spaceship heading my way I squinted my eyes as it landed in front of me It kicked up so much dust I could hardly see The hatch blew open and out walked this being I was so scared I thought about fleeing Did it come in peace or here to kill? Will it take me onboard against my will? Meeting an alien In the middle of the cornfield Seeing its evil eyes I almost lost my sackrojill I got scared and I fell down on my knees I got scared and I fell down on my knees I asked it, "Who are you and what are you doing here? Get off of my farm, because you are trespassing here." It said, "I am a sheik from my kingdom And I've come to give you some wisdom." Meeting an alien In the middle of the cornfield Seeing his evil eyes I almost lost my evening meal I got angry and I aimed my gun at him I got angry and I wanted to shoot at Tim And then it raised its weary hand to me And his words had me in a trance, you see I wanted to leave but I couldn't miss a word Because the meaning of life was what I heard. For love alone, all flesh is grass For love alone, all flesh is grass For love alone, all flesh is grass For love alone, all flesh is grass For love alone, all flesh is grass For love alone, all flesh is grass
3.
Last Sun 04:27
Last sun of the season's here A bitter wind but today the sky is clear Summer's gone and fall is at rest Memory stirs the sunsets in the West It's bright and warm as days of youth When the world was ripe for that fleeting truth The trees are bare and ready for cold We'll have our last one before we're old Last sun, the season's done Last sun, we turn and run Last sun, it must be wrong Last sun, till winter's gone Last time, I'll look in your eyes And spend the last of a thousand tries We'll take shelter in the warmth of past You'll tell me it's not going that fast It's bright and warm as days of youth When the world was ripe for that fleeting truth The trees are bare and ready for cold We'll have our last one before we're old Last sun, the season's done Last sun, we turn and run Last sun, it must be wrong Last sun, till winter's gone
4.
People walking in circles on the street A thousand colors and faces that you'll meet People singing for change In their society All their hopes and their visions Are distortions of reality Their lives are going nowhere But no one really cares They spend their life in their heads They're supernatural golden bears Telegraph is the center Of love, and life, and misery All your spirit is open You'll feel the soul's machinery Would you believe me if I told you that it's paradise? Somewhere up in the clouds Where everyone is really nice Telegraph is a planet In its own universe You'll see that everything goes For better or worse
5.
Star Ferry 02:52
Someone is aboard I think she sees me Hop aboard the Star Ferry Floating above the junk Reaching toward the sky Hop aboard the Star Ferry When you get onboard the Star Ferry You feel like you want to get high And the scene will fill your mind When the boat trips into the sky Take the boarding pass And leave the port behind Climb aboard the Star Ferry See her pretty face I think she sees me Hop aboard the Star Ferry When you get onboard the Star Ferry You feel like you want to get high And the scene will fill your mind When the boat trips into the sky I know I'm on my way I feel it today Don't you be sad 'Cause I know that she knows I need her so For that I am glad And she and I will sail away Hop aboard the Star Ferry She sees me Walk across the wooden floor She loves me Feel the rhythm of the waves Let the billow be Hop aboard the Star Ferry When you get onboard the Star Ferry You feel like you want to get high And the scene will fill your mind When the boat trips into the sky
6.
Agoraphobia 02:15
I hear it's wrong to be alone The walls here are made of holes And if I look in too long The floor will snap and shake me loose I was focusing my thoughts Broken Sincerity helps to build lives Or so they fucking say While they spin and bare their backs Passing interest just like coughs Minds like broken plastic Scatter life into trash cans What kind of a freak reads at night? What kind of a freak swims at night? I will dream in a phone booth Sunk beneath a frozen ocean Passing my feelings Wisely
7.
Neon phosphor We lived under the streetlamps He said people Who torture people Are the scum of the earth. Stray dog hiding Under window washers He reached out to help He reached out to help Himself to their wallets. Found a parachute Buried deep inside the trashcan He slips back inside All alone inside Except for the liquor he borrowed
8.
Mad Men 03:58
Raved all week, unshaven, forgotten how to speak A decade, locked inside, with Sanskrit paradigms I see the stars glitter outside with nothing to hide I've seen rays in my heart play their pathetic part So, come alive! Your flesh will only hide you And flying high Passing the thunderclaps' tune And those who hate Seek your reflection within them Then you'll be safe Guarding the truth Men of hate, ransoms high, watching me die They fill me up with guilt, destroying what I've built They've had me here for days and they blame my future For what they realize will be their last adventure So, come alive! Your flesh will only hide you And flying high Passing the thunderclaps' tune And those who hate Seek your reflection within them Then you'll be safe Guarding the truth Wading through dust oceans eyeing the village ruins Breathing in fumes of hate from some forgotten cage I see the stars flicker the light show 'bout to end outside me Inside me I move with my own candle So, come alive! Your flesh will only hide you And flying high Passing the thunderclaps' tune And those who hate Seek your reflection within them Then you'll be safe Guarding the truth
9.
And you get then The body on the waves Very soon after You turn into a slave Disentangled, a lovely mass of blood Shark bite temple, a nasty winter flood Believe in all the news you hear The captain glued his eyes Bitter tense you lose And you fall into his guise Flash of lightning, Venus fishing Under waves of dread Pass through straits diminishing The heat of life has fled You're not on my boat You're not on my boat You're not on my boat Won't stay afloat Whales and dolphins You circumnavigate Shark pointed hairpins Explain your Watergate Twenty thousand, and more is on the way Thirty hundred, and more will surely stay You're not on my boat You're not on my boat You're not on my boat Won't stay afloat Won't stay afloat
10.
Strike 01:46
The workers are crying in pain The workers are screaming in pain The workers are shouting in vain They want more money again Again again again again They call the owner insane They call the owner insane They call the owner insane They want their freedom again Again again (insane) again again The workers will march in the rain The workers will march in the rain The workers will march in the rain The reins gonna go down the drain The drain, the drain, the drain, the drain
11.
Marbles 09:28
Two pillars in Shelley's desert Empires by dust are tethered Pillars of stone in still Dust that freezes to kill Aim the marble of bliss Maybe with luck you will miss Ozymandias in the fall Fires in the royal hall Broadcasting hate for all to hear Two pillars of death and five of fear With each bomb you will dig your moat With each knife you will slit your throat Those who kill man's youthful prime All kill each other in due time Ozymandias turned away No time for war and death today A neutral stance politically While wordlords clash hypocritically Don't aim but turn your head You'll knock the marbles dead The vacuum of eyes and empty holes The death of flesh and deader souls Sorrow is for the weak, let pain harden Righteous lies your soul's sole pardon Defenseless bleed and ruptured creeds Pre-emptiveness is whitewashed greed An eye for an eye or turn the cheek The vengeful meek and warriors bleek Let marbles loose to dawn's new plot Let marbles fly your parting shot
12.
Sticks and stones may break my soul But words will be the death of me If you still insist that I cannot see You must be blind I wish you were mine But we’re out of time The hill we will climb will stay Skulls and bones may dry alone But worms will be the death of you If you still believe your old point of view You shouldn’t whine I wish you were mine But we’re out of time The hill we will climb will stay I wish you were mine But we’re out of time The hill we will climb will stay
13.
Morning dew Still dripping Into her Puddle of fear The light fights the trees They beg her To run and Lock up her secret Agatha, Agatha Plays under pressure Lives on solicitors and People curb crawling Afternoon tea With her darling By day she’s Relaxing with papers Streets under sun That is blinding And Agatha’s Dreading her business Agatha, Agatha Plays with no pleasure Admits every visitor She plays curb crawling Agatha, Agatha Plays with no pleasure Admits every visitor She plays curb crawling Dark moonless sky A letterbox Bills slip into A slot with money Silent she empties Her wallet Again counting How much she’s left with Agatha, Agatha Lives a cruel danger Taking the pennies from the People curb crawling

about

Back in 2002, the future members of the Tonics had only been playing together for a year. They had little experience, no rules and no idea what they were setting out to do, which is why Sound Check is such a fascinating listen. Sculpted Static arranged their songs with an exuberance that they have never quite replicated since then - Steven experimented with harpsichord, woodwinds, epic song structures ("UFO"/"Marbles"), while Andy and Mark seemingly went through every setting on their guitar effects unit. They took on modern rock ("Mad Men"), psychedelic rock ("Telegraph Avenue"), pop ("Narc"), and everything in between. Their lyrics were nonsensical ("Maritime Blues"), political ("Marbles") and satirical ("Narc") - themes they would rarely revisit as they matured as artists.

The 2012 re-release includes non-album tracks "Sticks And Stones" and "Curb Crawling," originally released shortly after Sound Check in 2002.

credits

released December 28, 2012

Written, performed and produced by Sculpted Static
Sculpted Static are: Andy California, Mark Williams and Steven Chow
Ian Asbjornsen played drums on Track 13
Featuring Alex Ashot (vocals) and Banseok Kwon (saxophone) on Track 1

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Pedal Tone Records Sacramento, California

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