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“I won’t be coming back home.” The letters bleed from ink to pen to paper thin; and black washes out as the sea pours in. Tides push and pull me back to you. Posted in Solomon waves, panic in crashing blue. No floor beneath my feet, lost in fires blind. Wade through the worst of fates under pale twilight. The steel rears and bends iron bottom bound. My oiled, airless lungs; my candle burning out. I hear the siren’s song, I feel it pull me down. Sink with the memory of you. Sink with my brothers-in-arms. Sink with the setting of the sun.
List & Heel 02:47
The sea stands still for us my love. Our anchor dropped in the rising sun. I hope still for your words to come. All is fair in a war un-won. I still stand, I still breathe, while only salt and death surround me. I long still for your arms my love. Hold me close away from things I’ve done. Waves crash the hull in morning’s quiet calm. The calm before the storm, the break before the dawn; before the shelling starts. Black clouds above hang over our heads. They bring a flash of death, the cold reaper’s hand tries to pull me in. Lances spread off port aim to split our sides. The run’s fanning wake looks a mile wide. As the blister breaks and the ballasts fill, the ship’s bell is rung. List and heel with ash cans in the distance; silence deafened. Bled in, scuttled and lost. Time stands still for us my love. Our anchor dragged in the smoked out sun. No hope still for your words to come. All is fair in a war un-won. I still stand, I still breathe, while only salt and death surround me. I long still for your arms my love.
Brother of mine, I’ve been keeping my thoughts with you. Hope these words and good luck help to put the worst of it behind. No atheists in foxholes or prayers our mother taught us, I’ve got the best of her in mind. “Keep me close, keep me near.” The words we long to hear. Keep my name on your tongue, this rabbit foot for good luck. Keep me on your mind. If the road ahead is too long or your love and will are gone, know that the night will have its dawn. And if your candle stops burning or your swan starts to sing, stop and think of me. Too many kids in graves up and down these coasts, mothers wait in vain for their boys to come home. Two stars hang still in an open window; one blue, the other soon to be gold. “Hold true, stay swift.” Hull down, dead set.
“We drink to those lost at sea and never made it off the beach; to those who won’t make it home, buried in the salty deep. Mothers’ sons that we knew so well, without a care or a chance in hell. Laid a life on a line in harm’s way and out of mine so their brothers could live to tell. So my brother could live to tell. “How the sky never looked so deep with the moon shining down on me.” “I never known it before burning foreign shores, boys in flak and trench, prayers to stave off death unheard.” “So old man pour another couple rounds on me. Keep ‘em coming and the rye in reach.” “Be it shellshock or heartbreak we’re all dying for a stiffer drink; or dying on a line, no god there to hear our plea.” “Laid out and desperate, no blood here left to bleed.”
Desperate 04:36
He sits and waits at the bar. Scans the room for a mark and puts the bodies to work. Raises the glass to his lips, drinks and tries to forget the bodies washing ashore. Long for the taste and the sting; the joy and pain that it brings to help quiet the nerves. Came back home with a curse; the bend, guilt and the weight, the bane of blood in his veins, a rotting gut full of hurt. “I’ll take the blame I deserve, let the cold world do its worst.” “We try to hide from death but it keeps calling us in.” Trialed, empty, erased. He wears the years on his face. Thumbs a coin in his palm. “One more for luck, then I’m gone.” Every day and night; laid out and desperate, bloodied and broken.
All Roads 02:14
Morning bleeds in through the shades. Creeps along the pine, day dawning. The pain’s tide is washing in; bent, crawling skin, head caving in. Sick feeling in his guts. Eyes adjust to the sun, nights blurring. The air sours in his mouth. Lights a cigarette, shaking, breathes it in. “These nameless darkened streets will be the death of me.” Following the cracks and back alley bends, down along the pier, the boardwalk and sand. “I’ll get you what you need, keep you from lonely my friend.” All roads lead to hell; our fortuned, timely end. No way to cheat our death. Dirty money has got his hands in deeper; pockets lined in the fights and throwing weight on the dice. “What you got? I need it all so badly.”
Stale Smoke 03:22
Ashed air lingering in the dim lit corners where the sun is peaking in a window blacked out, cracking. Day in, day out, he turns the floor and hard luck. Sun up, sun down, he pushes hurt and poor souls. Shuffle in through the door, kicked; always on their last drink. Suffer on their last leg, breaking. Day in, day out. The numbers run. Sun up, sun down. He pushes on. “Poor souls left along the beach haunt and stay with me. I lose sleep to keep the dreams from coming and stave off the pain that comes with their names. I drink deep to keep my heart from aching.” Too much, too young. Ashed air, breathe deep with the stale smoke trailing off the lit end, dragging cigarette glow burning. Shuffles through to sway a bad break coming off a cold streak, cut deck and a card cheat grinning. “How are you going to see the ending coming with your head turned around, stuck and bleeding out? How are you going to keep those lies from coming? Your teeth line the ground, tongue cut from your mouth, stuck and bleeding out. Aching poor souls buried off the beach haunt and stay with me. Their debts left in vain, a laundry list of names. I drink deep to keep my head from spinning.”
“Stare through me, I see you giving up your hand.” Eyes burning into the back of his head. Aces hidden up sleeves of cheaters, liars and thieves. Dealer folding a straight and debtor flushing. Drag him kicking out the back. Struggling hands around his neck. “Can’t fool me or hide from me.” Wrapping fists around his head, lessons learned or common sense. “Can’t cheat death or hide from it.” Turning pockets for his debts, concrete tearing at his skin. “Keep walking, you’ll find your way to the bridge.” Cold pistol pressed in the back of his head. Switchblade hidden in sheathe, in reach while down on his knees. Dealer making him beg and debtor plotting how to keep his blood and veins from spilling out, ending up in cold and shallow ground. “Stare through me now, stare through me.” Moon shining down. “What do you see?” “I see a broken, beaten man. I see a coward at the end.” “Can’t fool me now, can’t fool me. It’s a long way down.” Gut sinking. “I am a broken, beaten man. I am a coward at the end.” Dealer puts away his gun and tells the debtor to run. Dealer walks along the tracks, sun rising at his back. Rattling memories around his head; death at home and in the trench. “Can’t drink enough to make me drown. Bridge and river pull me down.”
No Guilt 03:43
Standing at the edge; rust and green of the bridges reflecting. Toying with the depths, the water’s blue looks a little too distant. Thinks of the pistol instead; eyes it over and breathes in the salt air. Barrel to his head, pulls the trigger and everything quiets. The card cheat stands looming over the dealer still bleeding. Switchblade in hand, aims to cut out a trophy as winnings. It’s a liar’s prize; a falsehood for the bastard to brag on. His blade takes an eye and off the edge, body sinks in the river. Cheat heads back to the Coin, downs a drink and calls a hand with the bookie. Stares him dead to rights, puts the eye on the table and stands to leave. No shame, no guilt and no grace. “No father should bury a son. No matter his sins, misgivings or the things he’s done. That man lives with a price on his head. No matter where he hides, wears his debt like a hanging hex.” A new face comes to call, asking where she can get what she’s needing. A man of the cloth in tow; head upstairs to silence their longing.
Hourglass 02:13
The years drift by, hourglass in the hand of the reaper. Misused time spent in bar rooms and brothels and squandered. Every day and night working alleys and card games and pushers. The years drift by, shaking hands with the reaper. “Days come, days go. The faces blur the same. Some stay, some go.” Man of god still drinks alone. “Sins stay, hope don’t.” Nights come, nights go. “The dirt all moves the same. Some live, some don’t.”
The streetlights dim as he walks by. Ill intent hangs in the air, hangs in the night. Hangs with the moon, dull, low and red. Shining down against blue and black glow overhead. Through empty streets and alleys to the sea; out to the tracks where the river meets. Flipping a coin walking tie to tie; a hardened broken man with a pusher’s pride. Waits on his sale, man of the cloth. Father is on a bend and on the outs with god. Out of the dark, a glowing cigarette. “I’ll take what you got man, I got it bad.” “How does it feel and what is it like to know the end is near? To lose all you love, your veins turned to dust, spend your days in fear?” Priest pulls him in, flashes a knife. Sullen light to the western sky. Ill intent hangs in the air, hangs in the night. Hangs with the moon, dull, low and red. Red as the blood, spilled warm and thick covering his hands. “I was little boy blue and next thing I knew, a teenager on a tenement roof. Now I confess the pain that happened in between. As I bleed out, you should know the reason I’ve been trying to drag you all to hell with me. No man born evil. No death; put my soul out to sea. Released from the sins of the flesh. I became evil when evil fell onto me.”


released May 10, 2019

Written by Derek Archambault, Adam Crowe, Joe Longobardi, Mike Poulin & Jake Woodruff. Engineered by Will Yip at Studio 4 in Conshohoken, PA in June of 2018.
Mixed by Will Yip at Studio 4. Mastered at Sterling Sound. Produced by Defeater & Will Yip.

Guest vocals & lyrical contribution courtesy of Pat Flynn on “Atheists In Foxholes” & Jeff Eaton on “No Man Born Evil”

Additional vocals recorded by Dean Baltolunis, Zachary Rippy & Ryan Traynor.

Photography by Michael Winters []
Art direction by Derek Archambault & Michael Winters.
Design by Jason Link.

Defeater would like to thank Brett Gurewitz & the staff at Epitaph Records, Will Yip & Studio 4 and our dear family & friends for their love & support.

Defeater uses Reverend, Fender & Martin Guitars, Fuzzrocious Pedals, Ernie Ball Strings, Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Heads and Vic Firth Sticks.


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Defeater Boston, Massachusetts

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