Sound Check

by Sculpted Static

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1.
04:45
2.
06:21
3.
04:27
4.
5.
02:52
6.
02:15
7.
8.
03:58
9.
10.
01:46
11.
09:28
12.
13.

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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Track Name: Narc
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
Track Name: UFO
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
Track Name: Last Sun
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
Track Name: Telegraph Avenue
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
Track Name: Star Ferry
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
Track Name: Agoraphobia
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
Track Name: Neon Phosphor
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
Track Name: Mad Men
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
Track Name: Maritime Blues
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
Track Name: Strike
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
Track Name: Marbles
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
Track Name: Sticks And Stones
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
Track Name: Curb Crawling
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