Among The Ruins, Rejoice

by Love And Squalor

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about

Among The Ruins, Rejoice is Love And Squalor's final, posthumous full-length album.

The download is free, but we think it'd be awesome if, in lieu of paying for our record, you donated a couple bucks to a charity, like:

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Tree House Humane Society - www.treehouseanimals.org

"Tree House is a humane organization that promotes the inherent value of every animal and strives to educate the public about proper and responsible animal care, with a focus on the care and placement of stray cats with special physical and emotional needs. We are committed to finding every healthy and treatable animal a home and to helping lead the way to a No-Kill nation."
source - www.treehouseanimals.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_mission_and_vision

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One Tail At A Time
(www.onetail.org/donate/)

"One Tail at a Time, NFP is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue that serves to lower euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area and provide education on the humane treatment of companion animals.

The rescue concentrates its efforts on dogs that are in danger of being euthanized, or those that are physically and/or mentally deteriorating in a shelter environment, works to rehabilitate them, and then matches each dog with a permanent home.

Focused on keeping pets as a part of our family, One Tail at a Time offers fosters and adopters continued support and education on how best to keep dogs happy, healthy and bonded for life."

source - www.onetail.org/about/

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Project Fierce Chicago (projectfiercechicago.org)

"Welcome to our online home! Project Fierce Chicago is a grassroots group of youth service providers, housing advocates and radical social workers who are working to provide an affirming home for homeless LGBTQ young people in Chicago. As service providers and youth allies, we were motivated by the need for housing for LGBTQ young folks, and decided that instead of waiting for institutional support from the city or state, we would work to address this issue through a community-driven project."
source - projectfiercechicago.org

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None of these charities are affiliated with Love And Squalor. We just think they're pretty rad.

credits

released September 22, 2013

Recorded at Atlas Studios by Justin Yates
Mixed by Justin Yates
Mastered by Jeff Dombrowski

Guitar/Vocals: Jason Swearingen
Bass/Vocals/Keys: Joel Robert Henderson
Guitar/Vocals: Ryan Stemple
Drums: Trevor Phelps

Trombone: Aaron Ray
Backing Vocals: Mike Petruccelli and Jerry Cola

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Track Name: Prelude to a Wasted Day
Well, well, let’s get on with it . . .

Here are the roots that clutch,
The nerves that twist, sear, across the pavement
To the glitter and the glory:
To a sea of fools!
That summer’s dream of glory, skin shed to cracked and bleeding lips.
Wondering what I was.
A day remembered from sleep first wakened.

In this noise, born! In the alleys that we dignify as streets:
The city’s strains, dysphoric and plain,
Detuned through failing speakers,
Are hymns to keep the meter,
A fevered echo to serve as the refrain:
For the last time we are hearing of defeat.

The silence save where silence yields.
Still shake the roofless temples
Now is the pleasant time,
There go the bells again!
Their songs, lost to me,
(Too late to reason now)
And rattle the street signs we use to notate the meaning of our days.

In this noise, born! In the alleys that we dignify as streets:
The city’s strains, dysphoric and plain,
Detuned through failing speakers.
A fevered echo to serve as the refrain:
For the last time we are hearing of defeat
A hymn to keep the meter,
Track Name: Exaudio, Comperio, Conloquor
The sun goes down and it starts up anew:
The usual indiscretions of the usual crew,
weaving a path through this patchwork of magazine covers
masquerading as urchins.
If there's a truth to be found in these walls like I believed
when I had a young man's liver and stronger knees
it's been caught up in too many attempts like these
to find it in another sweet irony.
If that's the case, then our hours empty slowly,
precisely the opposite of our pockets contents.
When we leave here cheering and collapse in our beds,
we'll wake much more haggard than we were when we packed it in.

And I might be making mistakes I'll regret in the morning.
I might be making penance for myself.
I might not be anywhere closer to where I'm going,
but there's a hell of a time in the getting there.

Six shots of espresso and a 2H lead,
four shots of rum and a verse in my head
that I just wrote but can't stop working out.
If it's still there in the morning then I'll write it down.
Sitting on couches and sinking ships with our nights.
The poetry will be their tomorrow. Now, let's pass our time
as if it were nothing. Maybe days alone are.
Like cents into dollars soon months are gone.
If there were any hope to be found in a song
you can bet I'd have taken and run so far away.
But I'm still here talking.
I'm still here ready to listen.

Sometimes, we drink to remember.
Sometimes, we drink to forget.
Sometimes, we sing for enjoyment.
Sometimes, we sing so it hurts a bit less.
Sometimes, we talk because we're lonely.
Sometimes, we're interminably bored.
Sometimes, we eat even if we're not hungry.
Sometimes, we eat only what we can afford.
Sometimes, we laugh because it's funny.
Some, to hold back our deepest fears.
Sometimes, we cry because it hurts.
Sometimes, everything is beautiful in tears.
Sometimes, we hope to dig the knife a little deeper,
and sometimes it already is.
Sometimes, we love because we're selfish,
and sometimes we love because it's all we have to give.
Track Name: New Innocents
No clouded lens, just ecstatic sobriety.
What else could be? High hopes, supposed dignity,
All certain fate, all easy prey.
All those small town fascinations
From all the places so obscure
Where we can live, in fallen state, content.
To stand as strong as bygone city walls,
Outdated ornament.
No more of agony or want.
Soon the morning will bring no freshness;
Soon the evening will bring no dew.
I extinct. With brightening eyes.
But a small thing lightly killed.
A death to think. And all the world a ready echo.
To stand within a holy city’s walls,
Triumphant and bloodless,
To make a life among the pilgrims and the strays.
Remain evermore a child in faith,
Ever more accomplished in vice.
None but the unhappy ever hear such praise.
So here is the morning, endlessly young,
Spent playing poet in Delphic tongues
I extinct. With brightening eyes.
But a small thing lightly killed.
A death to think. And all the world a ready echo.
Is it Monday now or Thursday?
Lucid haze, all waking dream.
Just variations on a thousand ignorant themes.
Track Name: Crisitunity
I used to count this curse as a blessing.
Now, it's just one of many ways that I can't live.
Cash down on the barrelhead against the future.
I know I'll never be content.

Bathroom walls cry out for names.
And me, without a pen!
Wonder for a moment, here, how many penless names have been.
These marks made barely signify a crude, untempered mind
so I write it with my eyes.

A parking meter stands unpaid on a busy, rain-paved street
waiting for some absolution.
Sin ain't so original.
Mine is just being here,
breathing air,
in and out.

I used to count this curse as a blessing.
Now, it's just one of many ways that I can't live.
Cash down on the barrelhead against the future.
I know I'll never be content.

A throat that aches to scream will find no purchase
in an echo
sent home.
Mountaintop to canyon finds you hoarse,
or may as well.
Does it matter what you're saying?
Is there anyone to tell?

I used to count this curse as a blessing.
Now, it's just one of many ways that I can't live.
Cash down on the barrelhead against the future.
I know I'll never be content.

Be of good courage, my son.
After every darker night there comes a brighter sun.
Be of good courage, my son.
Because each night is worse than the last one.
Track Name: Anhedonia
There's no light beyond my eyes.
These lids are thin enough.
Rhythms carry past the windows.
Rhythms tempt us to moor on rocks.
Like a wire to a fish,
still alive, flailing to death,
I worry I am to the best parts of this.

Oh, Anhedonia.
I can't feel anything.
Oh, but worry
and the sickening.
There's still one last shot of hope
in the bottle that we call home.

Pouring water past my lips
lustful and pregnant with regret.
Tell myself it can't get worse.
Unless it does. Pray miss the birth.
I'll crawl on joints. Curse the pain.
Curse my will, and curse my name.
You could curse my name,
but why waste a breath on me?

Oh, Anhedonia.
I can't feel anything.
Oh, but worry
and the sickening.
There's still one last shot of hope
in the bottle that we call home.

Oh, wallow for a moment.
Then store up your reserve.
You're too damned stubborn to quit.
And too vain to lose your nerve.

Oh, Anhedonia.
I can't feel anything.
Oh, but worry
and the sickening.
There's still one last shot of hope
in the bottle that we call home.
Track Name: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Here are the sad songs sung in infancy streets.
Do I still call the blind to be led? To be fatted?
Some dirge heard, first, faint in the distance,
Now clearer and louder; though the words are indistinct.
Does this choir still sing as one?
The song thereof breaks harsh with menace.
These feet dance still? A slacking rhythm,
Stuttered steps gone blissfully amiss.
Where have you led me now at last?
A candle must flicker somewhere in this floodlight.
And any day now, or even any hour,
Will reprieve this fatigue.
It matters not if men believe or no
What is to come will come.
I can ignore this bluriness,
But did this choir ever sing as one?
Where have you led me now at last?
A candle must flicker somewhere in this floodlight.
Obnoxious in happiness, a vain display,
Just commonplaces in the common way.
Relish in the nerves that now spasm and burn.
The hand gropes now and the other follows in turn.
Can such determined footsteps ever lead astray?
Just commonplaces in the common way.
Track Name: To the Attrition (Of Our Vices)
Stop making so many lists.
Don't let the cold convince you
that this isn't the night to live.

There is a poetry in briskness,
something that connects us
to a life we wish we had.

We never really had it all that bad.

One more year gone.
One more to come.
How many times before we say
that we're never going back there this time?
One more day gone.
How many times before we say, "We'll get it better this time."?

So many idle promises made without intention
like, "I'll talk less" and "I will get more done."

We're building monuments.
We're laying ground.
We're getting too old to tear things down.

But we tear things down.

One more year gone.
One more to come.
How many times before we say
that we're never going back there this time?
One more day gone.
How many times before we say, "We'll get it better this time."?

All good intentions and best laid plans
resolved to reside in remand.
We'll raise the glass we've sworn off of about a dozen times by now.
Aren't you so proud?

"To the attrition of our vices!
Here's to the weakness of our flaws!
Here's to the hope that we can learn to live in spite of them all!"

One more year gone.
One more to come.
How many times before we say
that we're never going back there this time?
One more day gone.
Wasted.
How many times before we say, "We'll get it better this time."?

We'll get it better this time.
Track Name: Ask for More
A symptom of a cancer assimilated into the structure.
Vitriol can be the lesser evil.
Active in self-interest. Passive until it's thoughtless.
"That's how it is." can't be a reason anymore.

Why are we content to be uncivil?
We could ask for more than the torpor of the selfish.
I don't know why we satisfy ourselves til we find empathy's abhorred.
Why do we decline to ask for more?

The problem is endemic when the level of debate cannot be more than this.
If the masses care so little for their own time, there is no place for art
or critical analysis, challenge or interpretive design.

Why are we content with what we're given?
We could ask for more than the ubiquity of drivel.
I don't know why we fetishize the commonplace til wisdom is abhorred.
Why are we afraid to ask for more?

We could have heaven on earth.
We could be what we say we are.
We could be a beautiful world
instead of unused clockwork, a mire and a failure.

Why are we content with what we're given?
We could ask for more than this frustrated frame we live in.
I don't know why we idealize malaise til we find movement is abhorred.
Tell me!

Why are we content with what we're given?
We could ask for more than this frustrated frame we live in.
I don't know why we idealize malaise til we find movement is abhorred.
Why are we so damned scared to ask for more?
Track Name: Collect, Compose
Is this Jerusalem?
I wince, sigh, and chew my bottom lip,
As though a sneer could uproot anything.
As though I have a moment to ponder the meaning
Of the childish prayers I learned by heart
That seemed to have lost their rhythm
In the face of a sea that stubbornly fails to part.
Feeings of scorn, a goal half-remembered, frustratingly remote.
These flowers at my throat? Out! down! break, damn you!
Is this Jerusalem?
So while one hand gropes for coins in the dust,
The other hallelujahs.
Just imagine yourself a victim: Play virgin, play lamb.
I do not know what I should think. Best not to be at fault.
Scratch up change enough to pay for a drink.
Is this Jerusalem?
So seek out the dark, the raucous, the safe anonymity,
Seclusion in the bodies, sweat, smoke, cacophony.
New prophecies in half-light, new promises in glass.
A found faith in the chatter, the morning is dismissed.
New memories in blackout. I think nothing. Something found
In the poetry of prophets waiting in line to piss.
Track Name: A Concert of Hells
Lips crack, feet cracked,
The eyes blush, the skin flushes.
The streetlights blear through
A dirt dappled windowpane.
You are naught, you are
As good as a chorus.
Pray you, mark.
Causa Dei, absque pretio.
As though half-learned Latin
Adds gravity to trivia.
Half-forgotten proverbs,
A slur of inspiration.
The cruelty cultivated in innocent deformity remains.
Here is everything, everything, stripped of its urgency,
A too needed slack in a too sober sanity,
A glut of all thoughts being played out but poorly in silhouettes,
All the faltering fucks and half-harmonized regrets.
Track Name: Don't Blink
Open my eyes without restraint or condition.
Dew rests, and dusk is nearly forgotten.
Hope, like a clean face, smiles back
and now we can forget enough to step outside.
Stoplights change and sidewalks fill.
The air sings sweeter, but it's emptier still.
Everything fades and falls out of favor.
But, for now, just be and get better.

A fleeting glance.
A momentary lapse.
A singular chance.
We can be fine if we count by the second.

The grass dries, and night falls.
We're barely not crying.
Heads beg to be laid down, on repose relying,
for all the vigor that has passed away.
Maybe passion, but probably nothing to say.
We need to look down 'til we're standing.
A bit of a wreck never hurt anyone.
Remember, treading water's still breathing.
and drowning's the fastest way to learn.

A fleeting glance.
A momentary lapse.
A singular chance.
We can be fine if we count by the second.

Through gritted teeth we sing.
Everything.
Through gritted teeth we breath,
and these lungs fill finely.

A fleeting glance.
A momentary lapse.
A singular chance.
We can be fine if we count by the second.
Track Name: Blossom and Dust
Here is the world foretold in cut and callus
With time still to shudder and stare
Back at the onset of reprieves of blind drunk reverie
In a life of attrition, a blasphemy murmured in prayer.
I hope all will be well. All God’s truth in bondage.
Still better and worse. We see our fathers hanged.
(Rosemary for remembrance.)
Dream martyrdom to forget
(And there is pansies for thoughts.)
That we are snared in the lives and the livers that we get.
O! But to be those wicked with a thousand lives to waste.
O! But to have the faith to sneer at any grace.
O! the lingering delusions picked up along the way
Remain lost with me in the dirt roads, in the days.
So envy any child sunk in the chill of the ocean.
Mourn old innocence sweated through yellowing skin.
(There’s fennel for you.)
And what can be whored has been whored for the day.
(And here is rue for me.)
Just commonplaces in the common way.
O! But to be those wicked with a thousand lives to waste.
O! But to have the faith to sneer at any grace.
O! the lingering delusions picked up along the way
Remain lost with me in the dirt roads, in the days.
So make a life in the relics, the ruins,
The shared stories of the day, and rejoice in the bottle,
Make up wasted hours wiling endless hours away.
So make a home in the wayside,
Scant furnished apartment, bare white walls and echo.
Just commonplaces in the common way.
O! But to be those wicked with a thousand lives to waste.
So feel the bricks against my face,
So feel the ringing in my head,
So feel the whispered truth:
The city of the west is dead.
Where is the swan song that should gurgle through this drink-witted blood?
The blood and traffic echo muffled though an addled static.
So envy any child already sunk into sleep,
As I sing with the liquor, the lust, the distraction in me.
Track Name: Tenth Listen
Starving for a note until I was almost twenty-two.
Exalted. I lived in my own head.
A metronome on the top of a tuneless baby grand.
There's no time left.
There hasn't been for years.
It's not for an absence of warning,
it's just so hard to hear with the
Windows down.
"Gloria" and "The Deep South".
"Red Letter Day" and "Morning New Disease"
Insatiable and deafening.
Dangerous and beautifully naive.
Dammit, if it ain't the best I've seen.

We were restless and young,
compelled to feel, lest we ignore.
When you close your eyes,
there's no point of reference,
and you just drift farther from shore.
So convinced our ideas wouldn't falter
we let them all fail us, one piece at a time.
This must be the march we all step to,
but every so often, you just have to drive with the
Windows down.
"Gloria" and "The Deep South".
"Red Letter Day" and "Morning New Disease"
Insatiable and deafening.
Dangerous and beautifully naive.
Dammit, if it ain't the best I've seen.

It's the texture of brick or drying cement
the honeysuckle air.
Exhaust and sentiment.
School bus leather.
Back seat radio
Back porch moments.
Highway screams.

It means everything to me.

With the windows down.
"Red Letter Day" and "Morning New Disease"
Insatiable and deafening.
Dangerous and beautifully naive.
Dammit, if it ain't the best I've seen.
Track Name: Morning, Noon, and Night
Soft morning, city!
I’ll wait. And I’ll wait.
And then if all goes. What will be is.
And so here is the religion that cannot pay for itself
Amid the rising tithe of debt and boilerplate,
Amid the sheets where the sweat has frozen,
Pulled loose from the corners,
Amid the dirty scattered clothes,
Amid the routine fate.
(It is the softest morning that ever I can remember me,) And so where others have fallen
(One in a thousand of years of the nights.) I shall lie down as well.
(And the clash of our cries when we spring to be free.) With brain ablaze in frantic fever,
(All so often and all the same to me.) There go the bells!
Red sky trends towards violet: Skin contracts, nerves keeps expanding.
Great the rejoicing in this gilded age of rust rebranded.
I still note the years or hours with all the interest I can feign.
Thirty winters spent constructing a sudden yelp of pain.
And now in nightfall’s sable folds
There will not be found any sea,
So make a life in the charming derision,
In the seductive absurdity.
(It is the softest morning that ever I can remember me,) And so where others have fallen
(One in a thousand of years of the nights.) I shall lie down as well.
(And the clash of our cries when we spring to be free.) With brain ablaze in frantic fever,
(My leaves have drifted from me.) There go the bells!
Violet sinks into the black: Skin contracts, nerves keeps expanding.
Great the rejoicing in this gilded age of rust rebranded.
I still note the years or hours with all the interest I can feign.
Thirty winters spent constructing a sudden yelp of pain.
Here is where I have led at last: (O bitter ending!)
The wearing teeth, the chapping skin. (They’ll never see, nor know, nor miss me.)
And henceforth shall I be led (And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s sad)
In desperation, all possible poverties.
(And it’s old and old it’s sad and old it’s sad)
And if these thoughts cannot be changed,
They should, at least, be known.
But there remains no conveyance:
(And weary I go back.)
No waves, no wind,
No coherent message to be blown.
To lie within a cold apartment’s walls,
Stained and spinning
To stare in dull-eyed comprehension
At insignificant things.
Or now to march the mantra
The crack and pop, hiss and skip:
Justdontgetsickjustdontgetsickjustdontgetsick
Ad nauseum.
A sick of accomplishment. The garbled end of a day.
All to imagine something holy in a staggering cliché.
As though all the world could be resolved in a couplet.
As though all the world could be resolved in a slurring song of doubt.
And I am passing out.