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Cicatrix

by Second Letter

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1.
Anything 04:08
Tried to phase you out But you are anything An unstructured mass Turn the switch off But you anything A dollar, gun or wall Taste of bystanders Oh, they are anything But not hard to find Shinny objects We’ll follow anything Even shattered mirror Oh, it’s hard to believe We’re suffocating from the big reveal Hey I’m alive I don’t think so We’re hardwired for gold And other playthings Hey I’m alive I don’t think so A simple question remains Oh, it’s hard to believe We’re suffocating from the big reveal Hey I’m alive I don’t think so We’re hardwired for gold And other playthings Hey I’m alive I don’t think so A simple question remains
2.
Examples 03:07
Seem to stand in line In the wrong place But you know that path ain’t inevitable if I chose to stay Living with the lies becomes a common place As the system seems to serve the same shit for you Already waste enough on you Working hands, you slammed them In the mirage you made for me Seems the time is ready for an ounce of change But I’ll take some more as examples…of things to come Soon to be an all-out war on the market place But you know that path is inevitable if we choose to stay Cracks emerging in all the areas in the right place As we struggle to remove the shit that hurt you Already waste enough on you Working hands, you slammed them In the mirage you made for me Seems the time is ready for an ounce of change But I’ll take some more as examples…of things to come Hey I warned you…
3.
Dead Emblems 05:38
My optimism has gone to waste Fantasizing on some short sighted vision A dreary state But when I close my eyes I see one route A debt, a lie and a costume made of fools A debt, a lie and costume made of fools And all this time I've been a reaction To constant waves of delusion Outcomes are framing my thoughts of distractions Zeros, ones and more illusions My observations have been lost To the bankers, the suits, to the ones that nullify the truth But when I close my eyes I see more routes People, love and no costumes made for you People, love and no costumes made for you And all this time I've been a reaction To constant waves of delusion Outcomes are framing my thoughts of distractions Zeros, ones and more illusions I can't stand to witness Over and over and over in my mind I can't stare at it Over and over and over in my mind Wash our hands of it Over and over and over in my mind Burn it down to ashes Over and over and over in my mind...
4.
Ruins 04:10
I think I dug this hole before A feeling Faint just knowing I have to waken Hours wasted on the floor Believing...I could mend such sick relations Never seem to elevate From the ruins you created I'm spent From the false hope you made All in vein That's what its come to They'll end up bearing it all When you made it Ruins of our remains Ruins of our remains I think I've heard this joke before The one where the cynic's invaded Days are wasted for one breath Believing I could mend such sick relations Never seem to elevate From the wreckage you created Chorus...
5.
Shame 05:13
No compromise for your own damn picture Stripped us to nothing Because you thought it was all for you...for you Shame on you Shame on you Every time its a lie for dollar Ate it up because you wanted it to be like you Shame on you Shame on you Binge and laugh and the rest will follow Life turns to numbness but the drinks are not on you...on you Fanning our faults with such conviction Swallowed it whole because we knew it was all from you....from you We stand and uphold its vision No matter what direction unfolds The obedient student holds tightly to the wheel What a wonderful life What a wonderful myth you have told We believe in pale painted windows Marched to doors slamming in our ears We believe in sounds of beauty Nails going down chalkboards in our dreams
6.
I know you find me unacceptable Non-programmable Fighting all those constructs that you made for me But I take another glass To feel the hint of normalcy Felt numb when you only said one word So, I tried the other tracks From a washed-up salesman Bought it hook, line sinker with the rest of them But I want to smash that glass There’s a need to feel uncomfortable I felt born when I spit on your words We…painted pictures Of something that will probably never be We…wasted all this time Mending cracked structures and false histories And all I felt like doing is mocking you And you kept your cards So close as if the only path was yours We…painted pictures Of something that will probably never be We…wasted all this time Mending cracked structures and false histories We…painted pictures Of something that will probably never be What is there left to mention? Where are those moments we made? Are there better abstracts Right here, ready?
7.
Can we get to the heart of this destructive machine? I have daydreams of assassinating these structures for free Still crashing more, more, more As it takes its last breath But when you think it’s gone it mutates and transmits You know we don’t stand in a neutral place Much more than a spectator Assuming our own fate You know we make moves against this frail space To expose and rid ourselves Rid ourselves of this Cutting out the network to become something much more Out of necessity we sabotage these structures for free But we still want more, more, more As it takes its last breath And in hoping in return it might emerge again and again You know we don’t stand in a neutral place Much more than a spectator Assuming our own fate You know we make moves against this frail space To expose and rid ourselves Rid ourselves of this You know I’m trying to get to the heart of it Trying to make it bleed Cut in one place and it grows up in another Cynicism and apathy I’m not sure if there is a beginning or end You know there is permanent need To rid ourselves of spectator To rid ourselves of fear
8.
Early man walked away As Modern man took control Their minds weren’t all the same To conquer was his goal So, he built his great empire And slaughtered his own kind Then he died a confused man Killed himself with his own mind We’re only gonna die From our own arrogance We’re only gonna die From our own arrogance We’re only gonna die From our own arrogance
9.
Just Begun 02:58
I worked hard against Reagan And all the rest of them Had dreams of utopias Because I knew there was more than one The blade keeps getting dull As I try and cut the bullshit out And then there was waves of anxiety As they almost took over me We all boarded a rudderless ship And still believe in captains We could live in infinite worlds But we seem to want the lonely one Where is the new wind now? And is it strong enough Where is the new wind now? To blow them out of here. We will resolve this with something stronger Just begun…its just begun A rock, a flame of voice and something different Just Begun…its just begun We will resolve this with something stronger Just begun…its just begun A rock, a flame of voice and something different Just Begun…its just begun
10.
Missing You 05:43
On my way out I never wanted to say goodbye You were heartless, hateful But seductive at the same time Never took my place Always pushing you away And all that time you became weaker than me Where I go It matters Where we go It matters From our first fight I only had words to contest you You were ruthless, painful And unstoppable at the same time Never took my place Only made a nic in you

about

Second Letter’s debut album, entitled ‘Cicatrix,’ is a uniquely textured, contemporary rock album that’s lyrical content serves as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the current political (dis)order and cultural climate. The lyrical content presented herein should come as no surprise given that principal songwriter, Rob Haworth, has been a voice of resistance for decades, both through his music (Farside, State of the Nation) and through his work as an author and academic (Anarchist Pedagogies, Out of the Ruins: The Emergence of Radical Informal Learning Spaces, etc.). The musical direction, however, may come as a bit of a surprise to fans of Haworth’s previous hardcore/post-hardcore bands, since it eschews volume and distortion in favor of the beautiful vocal layering of Bob Mould, subtle hints of Guided by Voices, and the piano/keys of contemporary Afghan Whigs.

Conceptually, the album explores the feeling of continuously being in broken relationships, from the opening song “Anything” to the last song “Missing You,” but it’s not meant in an inter-personal sense. Yes, it’s a breakup record, but its about breaking up “with the ill social, political and economic structures we live under,” and “constructing new subjectivities,” according to Haworth. The only point of deviation from the breakup theme is the sui generis rendition of Bad Religion’s, “We’re Only Gonna Die,” but somehow it still fits perfectly along the other songs on the album.

In essence, Second Letter came to life in 2014, when Haworth eagerly began creating music again, after nearly a fifteen-year hiatus from songwriting. After woodshedding in his basement for a few months, Haworth played a few demos for bassist Jim Kimball (J. Majesty, Retisonic), who enjoyed them so much he jumped onboard the Second Letter train immediately. A short while later, Haworth connected with Pete Moffett (Government Issue, Burning Airlines, Wool), who also took a great shine to Haworth’s new tunes, and was ready to up the ante of Haworth’s somewhat rudimentary drum programming. The next piece of the Second Letter puzzle to be locked in was keyboardist Carin Smith, who was readily able to recreate and elaborate on the keyboard and synth textures found on the demos. The role of second guitarist was perhaps the hardest to fill, but mainly due to scheduling and geography. After working with guitarist Matt Kane and doing a bit of studio work with Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred), Second Letter solidified its line-up with the perfect sonic creativity and talent of Chris Woodhead. Shortly after securing their permanent line-up, and playing their first few shows, bassist Kimball had to leave the east coast and the band behind, but he was soon replaced by John “Scoops” Hutchins (The Deadmen).

In the midst of finalizing the line-up, Mike Fanuele (Dashboard Confessional, the Deadmen, Further Seems Forever, and Breaking Pangea) came onboard to help the band take their early demos to a whole new level and was ultimately tasked with producing and mixing the final album. Most of the album tracking and re-tracking happened at Fanuele’s Lavabed Recording in Maryland, but a few sessions occurred at Noisy Little Critter in Pennsylvania with Mike Bardzik.

Once the album was complete, a copy was sent to John Yates, who is well known for creating iconic album covers for the Dead Kennedys, Jawbreaker, the Alkaline Trio, amongst others, and he agreed to work on the album. Haworth and Yates then worked together to build the album’s cover art and various other aesthetic pieces for merchandise, etc.

With ‘Cicatrix’s’ eminent release, the band is playing a handful of pre-release shows along the east coast, with more post-release dates to be announced shortly. Early singles “Dead Emblems” and “Ruins” have already gotten a lot of love from fans of the members previous projects, and they’ve torn up non-commercial and college radio airwaves on both coasts since their release.

credits

released May 11, 2018

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Second Letter Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Second Letter is Rob Haworth (Farside, State of the Nation), Pete Moffett (Burning Airlines, Wool), Chris Woodhead, Carin Smith, and John "Scoops" Hutchins.

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