Placebo, Please? Companion


Consider an individual entrapped in an unfavorable relationship. The synapse that once held both hearts together, beating as one becomes severed, yielding polyrhythmic patterns. This catastrophic, earthquake of dissonance creates a rift leaving the once lovers on opposing sides of the chasm, providing them with a choice. Do they tempt fate and trek into the abyss in hopes of once again falling into loving arms, or must they separate, never to have what they once had? More times than not, the latter is chosen, at which time the illusion of delusion vanishes. Life becomes “real”, and one must cope with reality, for dreamland is no option. This album takes the listener on a tour, leading him/her down the perilous road of love. Yet it ends unfinished…


Guardian Angel:

Life is good, the relationship is good, feeling good. This woman is the love of my life, the epitome of beauty, the mate of the soul. Cascading harmony abounds, and fills the void of everyday living with meaning. Speaking with her is equivalent to conversing with angelic beings. Note the unpolished soloing style in the beginning and first half of the middle guitar solo, segueing to perfection in the second half: representing call and response, mortal-angelic. This is how much she means to me, contrapuntal consonance. We are each other’s yin and yang, action and reaction, black and white. At this point, support is sensed from the counterpart, yet tension lurks… there is always tension. With tension comes question. Is the happiness and mirth merely skin deep?


Intrigued by the heart of the matter

I fall into a river so deep

But a hand would reach out and grab me

I look forth, and what do I see?


You’re my guardian angel

Guide me through burning seas

You’re my guardian angel

You’re so heavenly


All these perils that I go through

Travel regions anew

It’s not the walking that matters

For I’ll have you, oh


Interlude (Fm-G—end on E)

In seven months of anger

And seven weeks of feud

A single thought propels me

A single thought of you


Seven years ago, I don’t know

What I’d do

I was walking and talking

But I didn’t have you

Simple Words:

Here, we see the mask is being lifted, revealing tendrils and tentacles grasping for life, but maybe there’s still hope… I recollect fond memories of times past: walks on the beach with nothing but moonlight to guide our perambulations. Yet lovers’ footprints in the sand are inevitably washed away with the ebbing tide. Loneliness creeps in during doldrums in the relationship. “No eyes can penetrate this darkened room, my winter solstice in Arctic tombs.” Perhaps the sheer simplicity of this song is indicative of how basic, how thin this relationship turned out to be. What you see is what you get, I guess. Still, the longing vocalise harmonies at the end call, yearning for her ears to hear. The classic sappy slide guitar simulates the fluidity of tears as they creep down a trembling, reddened cheek towards oblivion, while the organic buildup of intensity represents pent up emotions, welling like water in a weir during a hurricane.


Moonlight fell on her lips only yesterday

It’s not the season to eclipse, my love

For a thousand days

Oh, no

And so I sit alone waiting

For a call or a reply

Still I stay here longing for you

And I don’t know why


And so I sing my sweet song for you

Apart from this world

No more than simple words for you

I wish I had more


So each night I lie in dismay

A soul alone lost on his way

No eyes can penetrate the darkened room

My winter solstice in Arctic tombs


Again, I think back on what could have been. Hippocampal picture shows. Perhaps this song should be titled “Broken Promise”. Why did events have to take place as such? Was I holding on too long? Perhaps all relationships are finite… Don’t let the warmth and innocence of the Hammond B4 organ lull you into believing the façade. The chorus comes in too quickly, exposing hints of the pent up anger and angst of many moons worth of dedication for a naught cause. The classic blues progression and feel is highlighted by Dustin’s brilliant guitar solo, which captures the feeling entirely, digging deep down to excavate the feelings of sorrow bringing light to the dampened soul. The solo reminds me of something Chuck Mangione would do.


Baby, if the world fell through on you,

Would you still love me ‘till the end?

And baby, I would do anything for you

You read the letters that I sent


I said I’d love you till I die

You said it too, let’s see you try

I’ll give you all my love today

You just have to promise that you’ll stay


So, maybe, I could do anything with you

If you’ll just give me a chance

And maybe it could be just me and you

And then our lifestyles could advance


Lies pt I:

Alas, it’s become quite clear that she is not coming back. I can wait for her return no more. Emotions overcome discipline. Blame must be cast on the traitor! Treason! Here is where the face of the album changes. Lyricist, Chuck, depicts a blown relationship. (This was a tough one for him to write, emotionally.) Spiteful lyrics of woe are spit over driving bass and guitar lines, complementing troubled toms in the background. A crazed, scraping guitar brings the piece to its apex, a volcano erupting, vomiting lava and magma from the bowels of the earth. But still, “my love, I gave it all to you.”


Staring into, blurred images of the past,

Fortified by shards of saline glass.

Glare back, from a seclusion – incessantly…

Reminding me of what should be…


An arbitrary word, a continuous trend,

Driven off the ledge, to realities end.


A familiar voice encases my mind – devouring

The remnants of my sole sanctuary.

Seizing what was left of my humanity,

Blending it to pure insanity.


An arbitrary word, a continuous trend,

Driven off the ledge, to realities end.

Cast back into this maze alone.

Acquiring a mask of lifeless stone.

Abandoned in the darkness to aimlessly roam.

Shrinking away, from the dim unknown.


Plagued love, diluted (with lies!!!) and shattered – erratically…

Tormenting me with its longevity.

The question, imprinted on my lust filled mind,

Answered only with eternal time.


An arbitrary word, a continuous trend,

Driven off the ledge, to realities end.

An arbitrary word, a continuous trend,

Driven off the road, to realities end


Lies pt II:

An alternate picture is painted of the former companion. This piece is the antithesis of the album’s opening piece. A shadow is cast upon the once brilliant past. The dark mode of this piece indicates feelings of regret. I am broken. The torture has been too great to bear. I am a vacant cottage with sagging roof, the direct result of a rotted through support beam. Years of harsh, battering weather have taken their toll, leaving a cadre of devastation in their wake. The finale of the twisted lyrics weighs the pros and cons before passing judgement, where I hand myself an ultimatum. Still, the classical guitar recalls mixed feelings and a thread of hope. The mode remains minor, yet the timbre is delicate, fragile, soft. She still haunts me. “Lies, every fu…” well… that about sums up the song.


You reach to me with your pale hand

Intoxication, infiltration of my permeable mind

My senses surge with stimuli within me

This entity scrapes away integrity


I’d walk miles…

Just to kiss your lips


Never felt so close to death


Here I stand, cadre of my former soul

Impurities in my reaction to facades

Can punctured eardrums hear my cries

Contusions, infusion of fear and lies



Every single word you said


Burn the dreams still in my head

Descending outro:

Integration, isolation

Condemnation, consecration

Combination, separation

Altercation, consolation

Correlation, arbitration

Conflagration, salutations

Modulation, mastication

Defamation, ultimatum

Lies pt III:

The instrumental starts in a 3 over 4 polyrhythm, a blatant indication of confusion. This piece embodies the extent of the ultimatum posed in the previous song. The Warr guitar and drums lay down a solid foundation for the raw energy of the lead wah guitar to express spite and ire. Quarter note triplets break up the mayhem, and break down the song into a duet. The lead reappears along with the ostenato, working its way toward complete corruption. The pounding rhythm at the song’s close is the driving hammer of pressure and stress, squeezing the beating heart… CRACK!!!

Into the Maelstrom:

Take the plunge headfirst into insanity. The skewed lyrics paint a picture of a mind that is not quite stable, a mind with scattered thoughts. Imagine a hallway with many doors, each of which opens into a separate thought. When multiple doors are ajar at once, ambivalence renders the brain bewildered. Notice the talking in the background. Meanwhile, interjecting toms create unstability in a world of slide fuzz guitars. This is one insane, almost consonant guitar solo that snaps into frantic screams for help. Just try to follow the random notes. The closing vocal pleads call for assistance. Somebody, please help me make sense of it all!!


Step into my mind

Analyze the gallery that you find

Wrapped tight in cellophane

Protect me from the driving rain

Rap upon the door

Cracked from pulsing weather near the shore

Afloat with my unrest

There is no peace in here, I must confess


No more room in here

No time to feed my fear

I hear the constant drum

Into the maelstrom

Interlude (piano/guitar solo)


Crash through paper walls

Echoes of ghostly calls

Plague my memory

Blind to all I see


Drown Me:

So, what is the solution? How to forget the vile succubus? Should I hit the bar? Will the liquid panacea deliver me to a higher plain? I guess we’ll just have to keep the Jack flowing to find out. The sudden 7/8 intro slides smoothly into 8/8 as the first sip passes the lips. The wave of ethanol over the tongue makes its way down the peristaltic pipe towards its destination, the stomach. You gotta be crazy to do something like that! Oh…yeah… This song can’t make up its mind: funk or rock? Why not both? Ha! Inebriation, intoxication! Notice how the song gets bigger and bigger and crazier and crazier at the end, until it suddenly arrests, where the protagonist collapses into a lifeless heap on the floor, succumbing to the passive seduction of our favorite depressant. Liver abuse!


Tell me how time eludes me ‘til the waking hour

My eyes washed back in search of circumstantial power

Hold me in ethereal stasis

Ignore the consequential cases

Your lies will hypnotize and douse the embers of my pain

This time I’ll cross the line to pacify the troubled brain


Take me down to the waters shore

Save me one shot before I go

Back home, a victim to your mind

Drown me one more time


Life’s brand, so grand seared upon my skin

There’s no telling where I’ve been

This beast inside my head

She calls, ensuring that I’m dead


Take me down to the waters shore

Save me one shot before I go

Back home, a victim to your mind

Drown me one more time

Stagger down to the water line

Beat down, laden by the rising chyme

Still I’m washed in your caustic rhymes

Drown me one more time


Although it is difficult to reach REM status when one is loaded, it does happen briefly, hence the brevity of the piece. This is the calm dream sequence, where our alcoholic attempts to sleep off the booze. He has not a care in the world. So what if he finds himself embracing the porcelain throne in the wee morning hours. He has his peace, crickets and all!

The Word:

What the hell hit me? Where am I? What happened last night? My head hurts (notice the constant high-pitched scream of the strum-stick feeding back). Now, the off-kilter rhythms indicate imbalance, or a poor state of equilibrium in the semicircular canals. Well, let’s try to recall my actions during last night’s binge. Maybe I didn’t make an ass out of myself… I gotta pick up the pieces and put the puzzle together, but dreamland is being confused with reality. I can’t be sure… I really have to get this screaming out of my ears. BTW, this bathroom floor is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Gotta stand up…


Well, I woke up on the wrong side of the tracks

Just the other day

I heard the sound of a crazed man laughing

Washing his blues away

The last thing I recall, a girl was sitting next to me

Singing songs about a tangential plane intersecting reality

You know it brought to me a dense feeling intensely healing

My inner pain


Now I see

The winds of change, design of mystery

Visionary lies

Are the staples of our kind

Take me away


Into the night I plunged,

Sailing headlong into space

I caught a glimpse of my future’s ship

Leading me in the race

Land ho to the starboard side,”

The man from the crow’s nest cried

I hear the sounds of the banshee wailing

You know the sirens never lied



So she said one last word to me

A word I’d never heard before

I said it overwhelmed my mind

I feared for what there was in store

She said one word

One word, etc.


Back from the world of alcohol poisoning, we remember what we were thinking about before. Once again, darkness falls upon the earth. My heart is heavy with sorrow. This freeform piano piece, sung by a man in despair hits almost rock bottom (if it was rock bottom it would have been the last song). I find myself back at a bar, behind a piano, crooning about losses and woe. Won’t anybody listen?


As I gaze upon the sunrise for the very last time

One can hear the egret singing with sweetness of wine

Beyond the waking hour, the time’s passed my eyes

But before the night falls, I shall whisper goodbye

If you travel backwards up the river of time

You may see a heart lie listless being swept far behind

My love now is lost and shall never reply

I stand at the lip of the pier and ask myself why

She’d sing to me gaily, in times gone away

But tonight my eyes fall upon moonlight bay

I shall yearn for the warmth and caress of she

With reflections of moonshine upon a black sea.

Symphony #1, Mov. III, “The Pit”:

As the title suggests, this is the bottom. Take nothingness, and blend in crazy rhythms and a pinch of African percussion. This is the recipe for an introverted self-pity piece. The bass and the drums play a low-end duet, simulating the mixed inner feelings residing deep within. The introvert becomes lost in his pondering, and neglects to consider any uplifting aspects of the situation. Finally, loneliness wins. The outside world is shut out, expelled, eliminated. The inside world (the percussion) wins in the end, creating a small box to live in. Fences are erected, which turn to walls, insulating me from civilization. I cannot cope with the real world. I must reside in my safe haven, my pit.


Right makes us wonder

Rain turns to thunder

Holes fill the air

(Filled with despair)


Cadence of light

Split by the night

Years slip away

Slip into gray

¾ part:

Welcome to my tomb, my catacombic world of isolation, devastation. Rain drums lonely rhythms into my head, souls scream atonal melodies of torment. Church bells toll my name, beckoning with doors ajar and vacant pews. Here I dwell, restless and insecure, a wooden cauldron over an endless flame.


Deep in the darkness

Captain who’s chartless

Shunned by the sages

A book with no pages


Stay tuned for the sequel. It should be more uplifting.



MBM 2004



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