I​-​V

by Negative Standards

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1.
03:37
2.
02:35
3.
02:54
4.
02:44
5.
03:51

credits

released 26 November 2010

Recorded at Earhammer Studios by Greg Wilkinson.
Remastered by Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound Mastering.
Originally released as a cassette by Five-Ten Tapes and Gay Scientist Recordings, and repressed as a 10" by Halo of Flies, Cop Grave Recordings, and Gay Scientist.

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Track Name: I
Dear brother, this is not a game. This is not for your survival. You have never seemed younger than you do in this moment. Fragility, a softness, a silence hangs over this table. We may never sit here again. This division gaping wide, it threatens to swallow us whole. This is not a choice to be made lightly. We are not at war with an enemy of caliber. Your home has not been invaded. Your way of life has not been threatened. You’ve chosen willfully to kill for a system that exploits. You’ve chosen willfully to kill for a model based in fear. Your choice has many costs; I am but the cheapest. Are you prepared for what awaits you? Do you understand the realities of war? Do you know what you’re fighting for? A legacy of hatred from every corner of the world is contained in those bars on your shoulder. You’ll earn your own.
Track Name: II
Dear brother, I know this is in your best interest. This is the easiest way. For you to live your dreams, this is the wisest path. But how did I not see this coming? How can I explain my rage? Landing on the spectrum meant protection. Landing on the spectrum meant difficulties. Landing on the spectrum meant safety. Landing on the spectrum meant shepherding. Naiveté as a leader line. How have you been corrupted, misled, destroyed by things so far beyond your grasp? This cruel joke of blood, fuel for the great machine. A machine that ensures pain, gaining dominance through fear. Adversities met and conquered like so many foreign lands. The sky is lit with so many burning flags. But this one is my own.
Track Name: III
Pleading for united front. Buckling hands fall apart. Brief glimpses from another world. Numbers thin. Illusion dashed against the peaked rock of hope. Jingo picks up the refrain where it trailed off into the night. And the tune goes marching on. The tune goes marching on. School halls ring out with the 3 slogans of time: For justice, for equality, for freedom. But these halls are empty. These halls are empty. The call is carried along, tokens paid as the automated voice drones on, again and again. Resistance is seeds upon the pavement, a hand held out while holding back. Casting stones, flailing limbs. Vacuum life.
Track Name: IV
Systemic forward collapse. Implosive pressured response. The fire. And glass. And noise. And blood. And heat. And pain. And pills. And pain. And pills. Flashes of nausea, moments of terror. Buried alive, weighted down. Beaten within an inch, beaten into nothing. Resting wicked. Run away. Running away. Running down. Running out. Watch the shadows chase. Bloodshot and aching, fueled by fumes and fears. Lost in moments of loss. No escape. Breaking down. Burning out. Purging shame. Letting go. It’s just that simple. Watching the blood circle the drain. The silence is getting louder, it deafens. I wait. The rumble of machine-made thunder. I wait. The sky has blackened. The soil cracked. Yet still. Do nothing. Say nothing. Hear nothing. Feel nothing. I have failed the only test that matters.
Track Name: V
“Why are you so mad? It’s my life. I just want to learn to kill people with my bare hands. Because it’s cool, that’s why.” As the ship sets sail, you salute, and I snap. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I’ll be out before you know it. I know the armed forces have done some things we shouldn’t be proud of, but it’s only six years.” As the plane carries you away, the cards fall, and I fold. Choices made, decisions carried, policies fleshed out with bodies. These are my brothers, there are many like them, but these ones are mine. Not another folded flag: fifty stars, thirteen stripes, thirteen steps on the last trip home, exchanged for a life thrown away.