All songs written and performed by Pre War
Recorded and mixed by Matt Teacher, Mike Lawson, and Pre War at Sine Studios in Philadelphia, PA
Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound
Pre War is Alex Waxman, Ben Johnson, Kelley Samanka, Stephen Reader
The Pre War marketing plan began with a full scale brand immersion seminar. From the beginning the band was focused on 4 key verticals: rumination, coveting of slights, gutterballs, and holding the D. From these four key pillars the band sallies forth on a mystic profit motive. What is for sure: no one can decide. Which can’t be all bad.
Pre War’s brand identity was forged in the hot toaster trays of a great American test kitchen. A profit exploration from the start, the customer journey has four key touchpoints: integration, dissemination, currency, bloat.
Bleak old whore’s fur
the dry desert pepper
wrinkled in newspaper
not entirely unpleasant
Erupts from somewhere
in the corner
I conquer blindly
unbutton my shirt
“It is what it is”
reads the message tattooed
on my chest
I shrug again
I’ve left a lot of stones unturned
And I’ve this big ring of keys
but none of them work
Not a one, I murmur
I’m just glad no one has called me out
Here’s what I have to say about these songs. This is our best stuff yet. This is the best we could do. I hope we keep going. I hope we write more songs. They’re like our children - they grow or they don’t. These ones did.
1: “Looper” - This song is about getting laid off and being mad about it. In retrospect there was nothing to be mad about.
2: The lyrics to this song were written in a corner room with windows on two sides and a desk looking out at a field of snow. The demo was named “Spoon-ish” ‘cuz it sounded like a Spoon song.
3. This song had a Television vibe to me. I wanted to give it Television-esque lyrics, but I never figured out how to do that. Why is it that no bands sound like Television? Whatever. This song has a reference to riding in a boat, and a Pavement-y outro thing. It also features a weirdo false G “Potter chord”.
4. This is a new kind of song for us, a slow builder. I don’t know what band it sounds like - us, I guess. It came from playing together to a drum machine - Ben had the guitar part. The lyrics are about worrying about drugs.
5. This track came from trying to learn how to use a 4-track, which resulted in a fully formed song. It’s told from the point of view of someone with a generally misanthropic attitude. It’s a lark.
6. This was keyboard demo that I hope we did justice. The subject of the song is fighting with your wife/husband/partner/significant other - a good topic for a song.
7. Drop C tuning. Ben didn’t like the bendy chords, then he did. Stephen and I did the basic track at the end of a long day—we were messed up and tired, I think. He was wearing pajamas and a sleeveless shirt. Stephen is a really good drummer.
8. This was the hardest song on the record. It was brutal. We both hated each other. I still might want to kill someone. But the bassline is so good and complete as a thought that it doesn’t really matter. This song features probably my favorite lyric on the record…which refers to being drunk at a party at a manse in Crown Heights.
9. This is a bunch of free-floating blurt poetry, but I dig it! It wasn’t like pulling teeth. I got a bunch of good one liners in, too…all of which mean something, but I wouldn’t be able to explain it all here.
10. Always tough in the tenth slot. High F tuning. We won.
I have a duck. And I’m carrying a cane with a carved gorilla handle. I’m well respected in this town. I have held several important positions. I have held the fate of others in my hand. The neighbors respect my eccentricities. They have come to love them. I am the local color.
Rare American Coins,
long yellow rubber glove
You’re in me now
Holding out our membership cards
for the clubbed foot runner’s club
free drinks in the Moon Room
Roaming the halls stalked by a
Chest-sitting clown god
This is the king on acid
welcome to Baton Rouge
Set up your easel.
Eat yourself out.
Fall in love with the marching band
I’m just waiting for a stranger I know