INVERSE – My second album. And an awesome one at that.
1. DANGEROUSLY EXCURRENT () Recorded May 2002. Synthesizer, synth-bass, drum loops. My first venture into techno. You don’t get many techno ballads. Or techno with some 7/8 in it.
2. FROM EDGE TO EDGE (6:20) Recorded February 2003. Samples, electric guitar, drum loops. Drum’n’bass can be cool if done right. With the samples I got from wavworld.com, it was awesome. And having electric guitar makes things cool, too. I very much like this song. It was also my first song recorded since Dangerously Excurrent, which started my “comeback.”
() Recorded November 2003. Acoustic guitar, vocals. I wrote the lyrics to this song visiting
Suppose for just a second that you were the complete opposite of what you are today
What would the opposite be like? Would you find it admirable in any way?
Only one of you would be kind and gentle
Only one of you would ever do what’s right
Only one of you would go to Heaven
The question is, which one?
Perhaps your opposite is someone who repents when they have sinned
Perhaps this person would do one better – in those tough situations, he just wouldn’t give in
As you look at the ramifications of the nature of your inverse
Figure out where you could improve your life
And of the two guys, don’t be the worse
Who are you? Who are you not? What do you seek? Who have you sought?
Are you good or kinda bad? Which one?
4. CLIQUE CLAQUE () Recorded January 2004. Acoustic and electric guitars, synth-bass, vocals, drum loops. A very intelligent set of lyrics, “clique” with its usual meaning, and “claque” meaning “a loyal group of followers.” So a clique that is also a claque is what the song’s about. The cymbals are fun, as is the tremolo guitar through the latter half of the song. And that slammin’ drum’n’bass beat in the first chorus comin’ out of nowhere. The verse chord progression comes from an old song of mine (like 2000-old).
In ever-shrinking eccentric circles you shy away from all criticism
When you meet someone new, you need no introduction – hate them from day 1
Liking only those who bow the knee to people like you who tell them the untrue
Knowing their lack of thinking skills you sound false alerts to wake the inert
Nothing’s the matter as long as you hear your toadies chatter
That clique claque I hear is the sound of sycophantic peers
That clique claque I hear is keeping truth out of your ears
Only a true lummox could ever really stomach
Such childish behavior – no one can brave your
Anti-compliments you freely give –
“Welcome to the Sass Buffet, where we dish it out every day!”
Throwing dirt on people, then finding them all brown
What a clueless detective – you found your own invective!
And then you show the dirt to your gutless friends
And tell your insiders that we’re the dividers
Nothing’s the matter as long as they all flatter
In ever-shrinking eccentric circles
What you need is some constructive criticism
5. WEBCAM () Recorded March 2004. Acoustic and electric guitars, synth-bass, vocals, drum loops.
The production didn’t come out nearly what I wanted it to (poor choice of bass patch, I think), but I love the content of the song. Great alt-rock. The instrumental is wonderful, in my opinion, with the binaural-but-different guitar leads getting met by…another guitar lead! And cool cymbal things always rock. So often, people don’t take judging from Christians, claiming that they’ll let God judge them, but then God judges them and they can’t take that either. Sigh…Webcam is my modern conception of the all-seeing Eye.
Sitting in my seat, passing judgments a-plenty – pretending to be me
Draws the wrath of many in the world who loudly disagree
That you can set yourself to judge others – “where’s your power source?”
But then I come with actual authority – and you shrug it off, of course
You would ‘coz you don’t like a review of you
I’m sitting on my throne, I belong here, but it stings you just as much as if humanity was where I am
The biggest difference between you and me in judging is that I enforce myself through my super-duper webcam
You’re a bit too mortal for this job – let Me do it right
I’ve got abilities reserved just for Me – all knowledge, all power, and all sight
So don’t be mad when I kindly let you know about what you’ve done wrong
‘Coz my judgments could take place right now – be grateful that my patience is long
Long I wait for you to obey what I say
6. LORI HAS FALLEN ASLEEP () Recorded July 2003. Synthesizer, vocals.
A friend of mine (Lori’s her name) asked me to write a song about her. We had just been talking about the song “Sleepy Maggie,” so this is what the title became. And then that dreamy sound (that’s “’60s Organ” off my synthesizer with the sustain pedal on it and a constantly arpeggiated chord) came across the way and I had to make it into a song. The odd thing is that I lost the lyrics completely and re-wrote them to about the same effect. And through all this, note that it’s in 7/4 time!
I know we woke you, so you’re feeling lousy
But be awake at your own house – don’t be here and drowsy
Lori had fallen asleep one day on our couch in the living room
But this was a big issue, since her parents would be home soon
“If we leave this poor kid napping, people will think that we’re kidnapping;
We must do something to wake and inform her that if she doesn’t go home, then her parents will mourn her.
That way we’ll be cleared from blame – no reproach on our name.”
I know it seems unfair that we quickly roused you
But there would be too much trouble if we continued to house you
So go back and sleep in your own bedroom bed
Then you’ll have free reign to be the sleepyhead that you are
7. LINEN AND FLAX () Recorded June 2003. Electric guitar, synthesizer, synth-bass, vocals, backing vocals, drum loops.
One of my best, hands-down. This song is about a materialistic man who gets it all taken away by the government. I wrote the words for a band project at Faulkner that didn’t materialize. So I kept the words for myself. Meanwhile, I had wanted to fuse hard rock with trance. Fast-forward to when I was fiddling around on my synthesizer, and came up with that opening hook. From there, the song developed into the cool thing it is now. And as homage to Depeche Mode, I have my three-octave vocals in the chorus.
I was at your house looking at your stuff
Realizing that I didn’t have enough
So I told my wife, “it’s off to work we go
You were baking bread, and now you’re making dough”
The money pours in – check out the facts
I’ve got ever-growing piles of linen and flax
And so I’ll obtain stuff in no small amount
In life it’s best to bank on your account
My portfolio’s diverse – twenties, fives, and tens
And most of it will work toward buying better friends
Like a body that’s underwater, but is not as dense
As the water it’s in, I’m rising to the top – make sense?
But look who’s here – it’s Mr. Fed!
And he’s been operating in the red
So he’ll take your bills and use them to pay his
You die, it’s all gone – wonder why that is
As surely as the earth is slightly wobbly on its axis,
You’re gonna lose it all to the estate taxes
The government gets most of your gargantuan amount
Kudos for tending what is really their account
The money ebbs out – check out the facts
Uncle Sam clothes himself in linen and flax
And then he’ll raise taxes in no small amount
Living off the dead and banking on your account
8. SURF GRUNGE (0:40) Recorded July 2003. Acoustic guitar.
This was written back in 2000 and recorded on a pretty rough demo tape. Each part was a separate idea that I planned on fleshing out. I never did, and when I needed an extra track for Inverse, I took this old classic. It’s a nice intro to “Mental Inventory.”
9. MENTAL INVENTORY () Recorded January 2004. Acoustic and electric guitars, synth-bass, vocals, drum loops.
I had to turn up the volume to get those low vocals to standard. Fairly quiet, good buildup through the song. Thanks to Brian Smith for drum advice (I couldn’t figure out what to put through the beginning. He suggested rimshot, and the rest is history.)
The head is open – what will you find?
Whole wholesome thoughts, or just pieces of mind?
I’m afraid to look at my fears
And all the other things contained in my hemispheres
We’re here to check your mental inventory –
Connecting your dots – telling the story
Look at all the stuff I had in storage
So much I wish we hadn’t found during this forage
Sad to say, the mind is like Truman’s plan of containment
Where defeating my thought-foes is an impossible arrangement
So our minds are a landfill – garbage in, can’t get thrown out (3x)
So our minds are a landfill, yeah
You could be surprised by your mental inventory
What dots tell your story?
10. MATURITY () Recorded November 2003. Acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizer, synth-bass, drum loops.
I wanted to write a progressive song (I do love Genesis, after all), so here it is. The first piano part echoes the intro to my favorite song, “Firth of Fifth” by Genesis. I love the motif concept and the movements of this song. Plus the “punk surprise” at . This is perhaps my best song – definitely my artiest.
11. RETURN TO NORMALCY () Recorded July 2003. Synthesizer, vocals.
I came up with that synth patch and said, “there needs to be a song built with this, all soundtracky-like.” And so I did. The lyrics are truly very personal, about my struggles and temptations. Maybe you can identify with them. And really, there’s no time signature on this song. I’m just singing to the synthesizer.
The calm I felt sometime last week lasted only one day
The turbulence that always comes tries to move in to stay
Can it find a permanent home within my troubled heart?
Can it grow as big as a grocery store with 70 shopping carts?
We’ll see – but I think my life will change – return to normalcy
And throw out all the junk of inconsistency
The pall cast over my aching soul leaves great big holes and voids
I feel like anyone’s false step will leave me paranoid
But for all the advances made by my troubles, they soon will cease their gain
My turbulence will stay a hole in the wall, not a big national chain
CHORUS 2x only starting with “Like I said”
YEARS LATER…this album was completed sometime in early 2004, I think (February? March?), and while I don’t think it holds together that well as an album (at least The Under 500 was very clearly in a grab bag mentality; En Passant has at least a loose concept guiding it, and Hollowed Out feels consistent because of how the songs were written and produced; Inverse feels like an album with half as techno and the other half as rock), the songs I wrote here are, pound-for-pound, my favorites. Whenever I’m compiling a “best of,” more songs show up here than any of my albums, as I really seemed to have a decent handle on how to be me while being accessible at the same time. Much like what happened with “McClellan’s Memoirs,” “Mental Inventory” has aged very, very well, overshadowing even highlights like “Clique Claque,” especially as my songwriting has gravitated towards a “Mental Inventory” type of song for album 4. This album also proves that I once knew how to write somewhat short songs! I still think “Maturity” was one of my very highest musical accomplishments – my years of recording and writing are worth it just for that one song. Anyway, this is a very good album.