by Surface Area

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This album was written back around 2001-2004 when I was in high school. I recorded them very crudely in a demo called "The Side Yard." For the longest time I could never get drums and a distorted electric guitar to sound right. Now that I know a good thing or two about mixing (and can actually sing :0) I have redone them with the help of my friend Jon on drums. He recorded all his parts up in Washington, I did everything else here in my apartment in Oregon.


released September 13, 2011

Music written by Pete Davis (petedavis.bandcamp.com, invalids.bandcamp.com). All music except drums performed and recorded by Pete Davis. Drums performed and recorded by Jon Lervold (www.jlvaudio.com).



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Surface Area Corvallis, Oregon

Surface Area is Pete Davis on guitar, bass, vocals, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, and synths, and Jon Lervold on drums.

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Track Name: Once More, with Feeling
Deploy this valediction, circumspect, and raw contention
One-way tickets to suburbia
The horse the rides the mule
I canter about, trotting on the feeding soil
Where’s your thirst for life?

Give the path direction
Fashion it its length
Stop dead in your tracks

There are bigger, greater beasts here
Ones your dreams will honor vague
And thousands of tricks to eye

Study their faces and study their motions,
Study their patterns and formulate yours,
Keep this under control
Just breathe and be still so they won’t see you
A taste is so sweet, but a mouthful is bitter
As bittersweet, though hackneyed,
Attacks my wits, attracting
A donor for the heart
It’s endosymbiotic

Fetters chained to a freedom sign
Investigation 9 to 5
Distance all the leads across the aisles
Sow them all to save

The turn-ups won’t turn out this year
Better think of how to break the news
And don’t leak it to the press
The wolves will hunt to stay alive
Don’t confess a thing
Them, they all are toys to bat around
And reasonably now
You’ll calm things down, and rightly so
Keep this under control

You’ll never see the mess here with the lights out
And won’t you be so kind to give it rest
In peace there lies a place to hide, a place to lie
And worry no more
Cut off old limbs to walk on the new
Into the Pearly Gates

Erupt amidst the factions
Tremors through the crowd
And everything is still before it goes
Track Name: Distance, Surface, Speech
You’re a place inside my head that I’ve never seen, but I’ve always lived
I’m hoping that if I just pretend not to see you, you’re not there
But I’ll still listen and I will talk until I learn to let you go

We’re perfect strangers and we walk side by side and never say goodbye, “how do you do?”
You’re an ache in my spine where your hand moves my arms up and down
But you’ve lost your voice

Now I walk in traffic and sleep next to railroads with my heart on the tracks
Sleep on the ocean floor
Sleep next to the shore
Sleep on the ocean floor, and never come up for air

(Waited for the tide, the waves came too high,
We tried, we tried to work it up to say goodbye)
Track Name: Given to Recourse
Raise the shades, fold the sheets
Put flowers out, keep everything pristine
Cook a feast to feed him well
“Welcome home, I hope you’re hungry”

I’ve prepared a thousand meals for nights you’ve missed back here
And I’ll make them all again until you arrive

With a smile I’ll greet and see that you’re okay
That these won’t have been for nothing (these years)
With my arms I’ll tie around your neck and I’ll never let you go

That stands for any night you ever decide to come home
Even if you haven’t heard a soul
And I pray that yours is okay

There’s food here if you’d like it, there’s a place to lie and sleep
Right next to me like we did years before
Before hearing those words
“Ma’am, your husband’s been given to recourse,
His body ground to sawdust to cultivate the land”

This house, this home is empty
Two pillows with only one head
You know you can always come back
I’m not going anywhere
Track Name: Progressive Letdown
This room is made of glass
I’m a stone’s throw away from the outside world
Let’s get out of this bell jar for good

Don’t you want to see everybody crying?
Don’t you want to breathe the rotten air?
Don’t you want to leave while you’re alive?
Everybody else is alive

Inhale, exhale that body you’ve maimed
Imprint your fingerprints on mirrors, take the tour
Where will you be tomorrow morning?
When will you see the sun rise?
A thousands hands to grope you and a hundred hands to shake
A dozen ropes to whip you and a few to pull you up
And there’s one rope hanging from the ceiling

We’ve punctured as we’re punctual
And plunged right back on through
Danger’s call beckons us forth,
Bring a calming centrifuge

Take my hands now (bring past shadows)
Lay your head down (bring out to shade)
Lay your sinews low (bring me up above when you go)

I’d rescue you on horseback, but I never learned to ride
I’d sing to you, but I can’t carry a tune

Inhale, exhale your sinuses
Reason with me, please
Track Name: Allegro, Allegra
You’re running out of time now
The winter comes on strong, too long for you to wait
Don’t wake your painted face
The sake should hold your place
You’re sacred
For sale a million miles from here:
A portrait paradise where the sun only shines
And the seasons never change
And change never withholds your life to spare

Cast off, sit back
Take off those troubled shoes
Raise your feet and tell us of the damage that was done
Inside the places that you’ve seen
What’s left of them anyway, what’s left of you?
Have you seen your own reflection as of late?
Surely something’s wrong, could the sights have gone aghast when you were looking for the sound
Of dulling rifles in the distance?
Cry allegro, allegra, voice ignites the flame
As ashes pile on, until the Winter’s gone

What’s worse, hypothermia, or when you suffocate?

The wood will flare and crackle and the soap will fill your lungs, it’s the same ball and chain
We look back on the forest that stood here and notice only charred stumps remain
If the field could grow taller than the plains in the side yard we’d have subsistence,
But fertile be the land if dangerous the skies, and the ground’s been resisted
So Godspeed
Track Name: Trite and Trivial
This is how the bottle breaks against the wall
This is how we hold back our blood with our sleeves

One, two, lift the receiver
Three, four, yes you remember
One, two, three, break down the door
And five, six, seven, eight
They’ll arrive too late if you choke
So lower your voice, what will the neighbors think
When your car is gone?
Look low, watch the ground, keep suspicion down
They won’t know a thing if you keep this in your confidence

Make sure the doors are latched
Close the blinds tightly
Closely, now, we can’t make any more mistakes

What did you think was going to happen?
You really think you’re in the clear?
Nobody ever gets away with it
Your story’s trite and trivial
Track Name: Conference Room
What’s the matter, have you fallen ill?
You don’t look so well, perhaps you should get this looked at
I’ll write down the name and number of someone you could see
But I know you, and I know you’ll never meet him
So I’ll call myself, and see what he can do

For now, just relax, you’re getting too much stress
Veins are jumping from your neck and forehead

You’re getting much to tense
You’re breathing rather heavily
You’re gonna raise concern
Draw too much attention
You don’t get enough sun, your skin is pale as angels
You have a severe lack of vitamin D
You don’t get enough protein and calcium, you’re fragile
Your bones would snap like cedar under pressure
And stay away from carousels, and flashing lights and anything that spins
The motions won’t agree with you

Your prescription is in, but the doctor forgot words in important places
So when read, the syntax is muddled beyond comprehension

Wait the break of dawn, we’ll set out for the tropics
And settle at a beach house, proclaim it as our own
And war after war won’t win it back

Miners, they hide underground, and clergy in the chapel,
Business men belong in conference rooms,
But we were fit for battle, triumph over anyone who would dare oppose this stubborn rule
And you can be the leader, finally have peace and quiet
To rest and regain your health, and your posture
And on this salary you’ll be able to afford
Everything that you would ever need
Track Name: Heat and Friction
Raise the shades if you think they’ve given up on you
They can’t find everyone, some are never caught,
But wouldn’t you like to be?

There’s only so much they can do when the traces always fail
Here you’ll be safe from harm
Let the line down so slowly, nobody will see
Hanging from the window

And widows left to stay and recreate what went away,
So nobody remembers why they’re sad, and so distressed
You’ll never guess

A lion and a wildebeest at bay, but the eyesight is poor,
The teeth so very sharp, and this brain is small and short of air
The grass on the ground turns to sand and we drown,
Patience never got us anywhere

You’re feeling slightly overwhelmed
That’s quite typical, considering the facts

The wolves will run the tabloids and offer a reward for your face
The seam between the were and dog seem to coalesce
Can you sit back and stand the raw conviction?
Can you wait the rush of heat and friction?

The streets are full of criminals, the alleys aren’t safe
The monsters take the citadels, the thieves are on your grave
The shovels will sustain, but the concrete won’t let the best of them get by
On their selfish ways
It’s hard to go out at night

Care to watch the lines and walls and mirrors for your cause
The bugs could crawl subtly unnoticed

But when they put the pieces down, they’ll have you in a heartbeat
And if you disregard you can’t keep the front gates up
You’ll have to stand the heat and bear the bitter cold
And feel the shine if you don’t pony up and play this simple game
Holes can only dig so deep, rivers only run so far
Combs can only gather scant the evidence
You know they’re gonna nab you on the simplest of things
You’re not fooling anyone
Track Name: Le Cauchemar
There, it happened again
You keep waking up with a cold sweat on your face
And lo, the face you make
As if you’d seen a ghost

Do you need anything?
Warm milk, or ice-cold water
To make sure that you’re awake for real this time
It seems every time you drift, you start to drown
Are you choking, or are you held under?
You make the waves that get inside your skull and ruin the brain
You make the waves that tip ocean liners
You make the grade, however stale, bereft of your intentions
You make the waves that fill the air (but nobody gets it)

You’re a tough shell to crack, but once you leak, you’re gonna fry
Just fess up
You won’t get far on parlor tricks

(This is something we can’t stand for
We don’t have time to waste
Just tell us why you did it)

Darling, you were tossing and turning all night

It seems like every time you doze, you end up dying
How do they get you when you’re asleep?
Do you fall, or do you drown, or do you bleed?
Or does somebody keep their hands around your neck,
Holding tightly?

You’re not fooling anyone
We have the evidence we need
How would you like to make payment for this unjust act
Be it obvious or not, be as quiet as you must
You’re only wasting time

We could let you go
Sitting, with a few thousand volts

We’ll treat you well with one simple injection
Or would you like to meet the greatest killer of the revolution?
I’m sure she’d be glad to meet you
If a firing squad, or the maiden is too much for you
Either way, you should say your prayers

But not too loud
We surely do not want to offend anyone
Because other people know
God takes no mercy on the likes of us
Track Name: Take My Limbs and Organs
The roads are gonna be slick as an oil spill
And you’ll be the seagull trying to fly
I just don’t want to see you here anymore
I don’t really care where you go
You have ruined everything one too many times
For me to just forgive, I’m tired of getting nowhere,
Just get out

There was more to it, but you missed the end of it when you closed the door
The engine started churning
The air was taken by carbon monoxide

Just sit still
Like anesthesia

Take the time to gather the patience you’ve got left
And spend it on a daydream where she finds you, and wants you back
She never expected this
They say you’ve got a phone call, and look at you confused
You try to play it off like the garage door was jammed
But nobody believes you
These things take time, I know, but I don’t want them to be up now
So please come back, and we’ll talk this over
Making nice again

So you peel out and speed there
The cops are never out here
And at any rate, they’ve never even see me in this rain
The headlights of oncoming cars light the flood on the windshield,
The road glistens and flows
The wheels, on their one good shot to the big times choke, and can’t get a grip
You hold your breath
As you careen

He asked for you to come and see him, he said he was heading your way
He must have been going much too fast when he hydroplaned
We found his car here wrapped around a tree
He says he feels okay, but he can’t move
We don’t think he has much time left
So if you’d like to speak, of just to see him
It’s better to be with the ones you love at times like these

(take my limbs, take me)

Just say it and I’ll give you everything you need
Take my limbs and organs if they’ll save you
You can bleed me white, if you’d get out of this alive
Say the word and I’ll build you again
Track Name: Just the Same Old Thing
Have you said it all your life, or did you make it up last night?
You’ll have me running up the walls, well that’s just crazy enough to work
Did you fall asleep inside my arms, or did you pass out in my bed
After the guilt settled in that I’m terminal?
I’d bet the latter on
Tell the letter carrier
To make his haste

I’ve been waiting on this postcard all my life
I’ve a thousand prepared on return
I’ve walked down to the post to see if this letter has arrived every day now
If you’ve died in battle, or one the purple heart
Well mine has atrophied since you’ve been gone
So I sort through all the clippings
And I sift the quicker sand
But in the end

It’s just the same old thing, a hundred questions, over and over
This drill is passed elementary
And on to grammar skills and nuclear war
So I guess I’ll comb the glass out of the sand
Until the hour drops

The stars don’t keep you up at night, but the coyotes do
And they’re dying for a game that’s sound asleep
It’s all these natural habits that will get the best of you
And catch you making a stupid face
It all naturally happens when you’ve lost your alarm
You let down your guard, you’re coming up roses
You’re pushing up daisies
You’ve planted your tomorrows in the ground
But there’s no rain to feed the soil
You’ll put the taste of metal in your mouth, but don’t go so bitterly
Without a fight

And you know I’ll cry “Chief injustice!”
And you’ll cry battery acid
And pack your things to leave
Leaving all the things you need
And fill out all the paperwork
And to complete the field where they want to know your last words
You say just the same old thing that everybody says

It’s not my time to go
Track Name: Christen Thee, Sinking Ship
Your will was first to go
Then you sent for your happiness, it never showed
Beneath your flesh and bone,
Your blood and marrow grew too thick to hold

What now, would you leave us behind
Waiting to raise and object?
Then how, if you’ve left us behind, shall we know where to direct?

These, this is what you missed, truncated and dismissed, from finer subjects found
The seasons are out of touch, sail upon this Flying Dutchman, this vessel just to honor thou
Carry you to sanctity, imperial and lined with smiling faces, and they won’t haunt you now
Hands to hold and shoulders to lay your head to rest, or tears to grave
And no reason to ever be afraid

Tell them who you were, dear
Tell them who we are
Teach them to be there for a reason,
And we’ll tell everybody left down here