Last update 2018-05-11: New blog post

  • Lyrics

    Lyrics & Original Liner Notes

    The Masses (1985)

    RIX


    Scene snobs? Fuck no!

    Open to all-friend, foe

    We're open, we're not closed

    And we're having fun at the shows


    RIX-much more than a crew

    RIX-we don't need that fucking glue

    RIX-Stay open, it's all we can do

    RIX-and if you're hearing us, we're reaching you


    REAL LIFE


    If hardcore's ever gonna be a real alternative

    It's going to have to deal with the real life of the kids

    "Fuck the system," and other old clichés

    It's time for real answers, let the bullshit rot away


    Clothes and hair may change

    But the world still stays the same


    And maybe real answers can't always be patly written in the songs

    So the audience can understand it and simply sing along

    Maybe the answers depend on the individual

    His or her situation, and what they must do


    PERSONAL EDGE


    I'm not gonna enforce it

    Or tell you what to do

    It's my personal edge

    My edge on you


    If you drink

    That's your decision

    I'm not gonna turn it

    Into a religion


    To some it's a label

    But to me, it's mine

    I'm not gonna let it

    Rule my mind


    You say you need it

    I say I don't

    Let it come between us

    That I won't


    NO CHOICE


    Forced, pressured

    Two paths to take

    Either one

    A painful mistake

    No clear-cut answer

    Only pain

    To escape the pressure

    I can't remain


    I have no choice


    Either way I'm ripped

    Either way I get hurt

    Either way I can't win

    Neither way will work


    No choice


    I DON'T KNOW


    The more you say you don't belong

    The more people you need to lean on

    Grab control of all your peers

    To use them as a wall to hide all of your fears


    Your rules? I'm not jealous

    They just change with everybody else's

    You say you don't care; we know that's a lie

    Your idea of going sick is getting high


    THE MASSES/SHABOO SHABOO [INSTRUMENTAL]


    Fuck the masses

    Everybody does

    Fuck the masses

    It's what they love

    Fuck the masses

    For every cent

    Fuck the masses

    'cause they're ignorant


    Capitalism fucking rules


    SHALLOW GRAVES


    I'm the funeral attendant

    For the world's powers

    I bury every kind


    I'm the morgue attendant

    For the imperialists

    I bury what they leave behind


    Now I'm digging

    Many shallow graves

    So many, so many

    Shallow graves


    The bodies of the murdered peasants

    I see them all

    Soviet and Afghan dissidents

    I see them fall

    The ruined lives

    Propaganda, lies

    Torture remains

    One's socialist, one's democratic

    But to them it's all the same


    LOOK AT YOU


    I look at you

    All I see

    Are the things that

    Cannot be

    I'm trapped, I stare

    There's no escape

    All I can do

    Is look at you and wait


    Maybe someday

    I'll know what to do

    And perhaps someday

    I'll know when it's through

    Maybe someday

    I'll know the truth

    But for right now

    I just look at you


    I can't stand it

    A situation I hate

    It seems to follow me

    To my dying day

    It rips me up

    It tears me inside

    And there's nothing

    I can do to hide


    THE PAIN


    Can we really feel it?

    The screaming pain

    Of the tortured millions

    With forgotten names

    All of our trials, worries and fear

    Seem so petty when compared to theirs


    And yet my pain feels real enough


    WHAT DO YOU DO?


    What do you do?

    You just consume

    Sit back and simply

    Let it roll in

    You don't create

    Only destroy

    Or amuse yourself

    With expensive toys

    There's nothing left

    For me to say

    When I see you all

    Act that way

    Middle-class black holes

    Again and again

    Always fucked up

    On the weekends


    What the fuck do you do?


    What is your worth?

    I your life just a lie?

    Will anything be different 

    If tomorrow you should die?

    Filled with

    Social apathy

    Concerned only with

    What can make you happy


    What the fuck do you do?

    Why don't you tell me

    What do you do...


    What the fuck do you do?


    [NOTES]


    ALL WORDS ALL MUSIC: VERBAL ASSAULT

    ALL MATERIAL RECORDED LIVE ON THE "STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE SHOW" ON WRIU JANUARY 20, 1985

    ENGINEERED BY MIKE SCOTT

    "PRODUCED" BY VERBAL ASSAULT

    COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION


    VERBAL ASSAULT


    NICK BARBATO-DRUMS, VOCALS

    PETER CHRAMIEC-GUITAR

    DYLAN ROY-BASS, VOCALS

    CHRISTOPHER JONES-VOCALS


    CHRIS GORMAN-BACKING VOCALS


    WARNING: THIS TAPE MAY CONTAIN CLEVERLY HIDDEN SATANIC MESSAGES


    VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO IDLE RICH.

    THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE HELPED US OUT AND WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THEM. THEY ARE CHRIS CARILLI, AL Q. (SUBURBAN VOICE), POSITIVE OUTLOOK, CHRIS GORMAN, MIKE SCOTT, DANNY BURNS, JESSICA & TOM G., SERG & THE SUPER REVERB, JACKIE, RANDY & THE LIVING ROOM, DOUG CARON & PIED PIPER PRODUCTIONS, MR. & MRS. BRIAN & JUDY JONES, JON, GRAHAM BATTING, MIKE (xXx), LISA K., ANYBODY WHO HAS LOANED US EQUIPMENT, AND MOST OF ALL, THANKS TO ANYBODY WHO BOUGHT OUT LAST TAPE, WHO COMES TO THE SHOWS & CLAPS AFTER THE SONGS & DANCES WHEN WE'RE PLAYING THEM. YOU'RE THE GREATEST. SORRY TO ANYBODY WHO WE FORGOT.


    ALL MAIL WILL BE ANSWERED.


    Let us in the name of radical pragmatism not forget that in our system with all its repressions we can still speak out and denounce the administration, attack its policies, work to build an opposition base. True, there is government harassment, but there is still that relative freedom to fight. I can try to attack my government, try to organize to change it. That's more than I can do in Moscow, Peking or Havana...Let's keep some perspective.


    -Saul D. Alinsky


    [From Rules for Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1971, page xxi). -CBJ]

    Learn (1985)

    BACKSTAB


    Every single time I turn my back

    I seem to come under your word attack


    Maybe if you'd stop stabbing, you'd learn

    Than you wouldn't receive it in return

    It seems like every thing you say

    Changes every other fucking day


    And it doesn't seem to matter to you

    If anything you say is true


    Backstab


    WHEN I THINK


    My experience is slim, and my knowledge is small

    Sometimes I think I know nothing at all

    And I reason, "If I know so little, who am I to say

    Why the world is, and why it is this way?"


    But then I think, I look really hard

    I try to find

    What I know

    I look deep down inside my head

    I search to find

    What I know


    I know I want to be free

    I know I want to live

    I know I want the truth

    I know I must give

    I know to be free

    I know I have chosen a light

    It may not be anyone else's

    But I still search for what is right

    That's what I know


    And that's what I know and I know...


    GRAY


    Not everything in life will be so easily divided

    Into black and white, then quickly decided

    The world is not a simple math problem

    No thought and five seconds all that takes to solve it


    It's the color of truth

    The color is gray


    A little extra thought

    And a look to both sides

    Maybe we finally figure out

    What's really fuckin' right


    It's propaganda if it gives you the black and the white

    Like who are your friends and who you must fight

    The idealism of my youth has been darkened by the truth

    And I have come to the day, I've realized

    A lot of my life is gray

    It's gray


    THE PAIN


    Can we really feel it?

    The screaming pain

    Of the tortured millions

    With forgotten names

    All of our trials, worries and fear

    Seem so petty when compared to theirs


    And yet my pain feels real enough


    LEARN


    I look at what has changed

    In a way, it's just the same

    This still means something to me

    And I try to make my ideals reality


    I'm gonna learn


    Was all that we said and we sung

    Just silly adolescent fantasies?

    Well, maybe some of them were

    But I know that I still believe


    Yeah, I believe


    And what has happened to the rest?

    They've drifted away, was it for the best?

    And what will happen when it's our turn?

    We'll look at their mistakes and learn


    COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN


    Life's so hard and you have it rough

    Your mother's so mean and it's all so tough

    But you gotta remember it's not yet that bad

    You gotta remember what you have


    Complain and whine

    Scream and shout

    But do you really know what you're talking about?


    We know you have problems

    'Cause we have them too

    You have to search around to see

    What's really killing you

    Look around you

    And see where you stand

    Look at the situation and try

    To understand


    THE PRICE WE PAY


    The tumors, the illness and the growths

    Those things are our price

    An economy of careless industry

    It's how we make a living but it's killing me


    The price that we pay

    Is it too high?


    What is the price

    Of your acceptance?

    To be contorted scarred and burned

    What do you know? Have I learned


    For every single choice we make entails a sacrifice

    And for that, we must pay some sort of price

    But when the price is always pollution and pain

    Do you know what you're doing? To me it seems insane


    Is the price too high?

    Yes


    [NOTES]


    Christopher Jones-vocals

    Pete Chramiec-guitars

    Dylan Roy-bass

    Nick Barbato-drums


    Backing vocals by Verbal Assault and Ian MacKaye


    All lyrics by Jones

    All music by Verbal Assault


    Recorded at Inner Ear Studios November 30, 1985

    Produced by Verbal Assault and Ian MacKaye

    Engineered by Don Zientara


    A big special thanks to the people who made this record possible:

    Kevin & Positive Force, Ian, Don, Carolyn, Marky and Pete's Dad!

    Also: Doug Caron (Pied Piper Productions)


    There have been many people though these years who have provided invaluable assistance to us, and to the scene. You all know who you are, and you also know that our sincere love and thanks go with you.


    Most of all, we would like to thank those who come to the shows, buy records and fanzines, encourage the bands and just get involved. None of this is possible without you.


    Keep pushing, questioning and communicating. That's what it's all about.


    -Verbal Assault


    Trial (1987)

    TRIAL


    One day I awoke to find the sun

    Beating down on me

    Thoughts and fears filling my mind

    The truth was beating down on me


    For that day

    I stood trial

    For all of my lies and denials

    For my lack of discipline and responsibility


    I awoke and faced my judge

    The mirror said that I'm guilty

    I could not believe it

    As the verdict was passed

    The mirror said that I'm guilty


    How can this be true


    My sentencing followed soon after

    My insides torture me

    I cannot rest from my sight

    I cannot be free

    Until it is made right

    The trial becomes my trial


    UNDERSTAND


    In eighteen years

    You have it all figured out

    You know the score

    What it's all about

    Such a short time

    But so far to go

    You cannot even understand 

    What you don't know


    Eyes wide open

    But you cannot see

    Their helplessness

    Their suffering

    Their misery

    Then in a contemptuous tone

    You proceed to tell me

    Fairy tales and bullshit

    Of how it should be


    It's not that way


    Six white walls

    Become a rich girl's cage

    Sheltered from

    Their impoverished rage

    Your attitude hurts more than bombs ever will

    It's stupidity that kills

    Why can't you understand?

    (When you're in your white walls

    You don't have to see)

    Why can't you understand?


    You shut your eyes

    And close your mind

    But that can't hide the shame

    Or the pain

    I hold you to blame for their pain

    You're to blame


    RUNNING


    I'm running out of time

    Forced to decide

    To choose the beat path

    Or to feel the wrath

    When I take a different ride


    There's nothing in this world

    That you have to do

    To be frightened by tradition

    Is a cheap excuse

    I, I realize

    I, I sympathize

    But we can't live with those lies


    And you won't always be sure

    When your judgments seem pure

    Every choice you make

    Could be a mistake

    But at least they were yours


    Complain that you can't win

    When you've chosen to fit in

    Responsibility's gone

    I know that's wrong

    Conformity can be a sin


    Now I judge on my own scales

    So I know when I have failed

    The decisions are mine

    I'll take my time

    Only it will surely tell


    I'm running out of time


    NEVER STOP


    The minute, the second

    That we stop trying

    The moment, the fraction

    Of time that we start lying

    To ourselves

    Is when they will win


    You ask me the odds of victory

    I can only tell you this

    If we stop we dig our own graves

    If we stop


    It will be the end

    If we stop

    No, never stop

    If we do, it's the end


    HEAL


    Empty, with no respect at all

    We expect what's been built

    To crumble and fall

    Shocked by the indifference

    To our unheeded call

    I ask you

    What do we offer instead?


    We cannot change around

    Until we change within

    To scream and yell and sloganize

    Only shields us from our own lies

    Without understanding

    We offer our own views

    What the hell are we doing, rebels?


    I am scared by the way you act

    Do you always know who is really

    Being attacked?

    With an unknowing shrug

    We go and turn our backs

    On the only few things that we have left


    Commitment is not measured by

    By the months

    But by the years

    The time to stop

    Will not be our first tears

    A life spent with more trouble

    Time, pain and fear

    Is there any way stay

    Close to what we hold dear?

    Integrity, truth and love is what we need

    Rebel, heal thyself


    SCARED


    I say that I love

    I say that I believe

    I say just a few words

    And now that I'm exposed

    I look out at you to reach out to

    But your heart is kept closed

    Hide behind laughter

    And a smart-assed sneer

    Cover yourself from what you see,

    What you see and hear


    No, you can't believe

    That means you'd take a chance

    To reach out

    There are small things that we can do

    Every single day

    To make ourselves heroes

    In our own little way


    You are scared

    (But so am I)

    You are scared-so deep inside

    You are scared-so you lie

    You are scared-so you hide

    You are scared-but don't you know


    So am I

    So am I

    I'm scared


    There's no exposure in darkness

    No change in hate

    I want to try to reach to you

    But is it too late?


    OUR ILLUSIONS


    Will we really live by what we say?

    Will we really be open in every way?

    I've seen it before, so many times

    Must the past be repeated

    With all of its crimes?


    No, I really believe in what we sing

    I'm going to try to live my life

    In my own way


    Our illusions


    It does not have to be that way

    Even if change does not come in a day

    We have to do all that we can

    If not, the blood's on our hands

    We're the only one to blame

    If we do not dispel our illusions


    ALIVE


    The answers won't

    Be anywhere but inside

    It's the only truth I really know for sure

    The only truth they cannot hide


    To live is

    To fight what has come before

    To live is

    To struggle and begin again once more

    To live is

    To fight what has made you weak

    To live is

    To never find all of what you seek


    The past is the enemy of now

    To live is to move is

    To grow is to learn

    Anywhere, anyway, anyhow


    SEARCH


    To search for them

    Is to never succeed

    You can't find

    What will never be


    Images on the page

    No, your life is never that way

    Images on the page

    Don't you ever think your life

    Will be that way


    Your comparisons

    Are futile tries

    At perverted reality

    And shallow lies


    That is not your criteria

    For you to judge me

    Don't you ever think

    That that is reality


    [NOTES]


    Dylan Roy-bass

    Doug Ernest-drums

    Christopher Jones-vocals

    Pete Chramiec-guitar, piano


    Recorded June, 1987 at Audio Matrix and August, 1987 at Newbury Sound, Boston, MA

    Mixed August, 1987 at Newbury Sound

    Engineered by Stephen Seltzer

    Produced by Verbal Assault


    Lyrics by Jones

    All music by Chramiec except "Scared," "Search," and "Understand" by Roy.

    All music arranged by Verbal Assault


    Design: Tom Gorman/VA

    Layout/Production: Carla Porch

    Photography: Chris Gorman


    Thanks to: Carolyn DiPanni, Mark McKay, Steev Riccardo & Giant Records, Stephen Seltzer, Mark Chramiec and all of our parents, Mike Gitter, Dave Stein, Al Quint, 7 Seconds, Positive Force, Jason Traeger, John Reardon, Misi Bennett, Marcos, Kina, all the friends we've made & the cool places we've played across the country, our friends in DC, New York, Boston and our good friends in RI-thanks for the support over the years.

    Tiny Giants (1987-8)

    TINY GIANTS


    Sometimes I laugh out loud

    Then I wonder down inside

    We go through life, drift through life

    So unaware of our true size


    We are all tiny giants

    (And you just drift on by)


    Tiny giants are true men

    But the real world, it frightens them

    So they stay, they stay hidden

    Until outside is forgotten


    We are all tiny giants

    (And you just drift on by)


    Talking about me and you

    You know, you know the truth

    Something we have to undo

    No more small world views


    We are all tiny giants


    MORE THAN MUSIC


    It's more than music

    More than a new dance

    More than fashion

    More than a posed stance


    It's more than music

    It's something to live life with

    Beyond cheap slogans

    An act of love, an attempt to give


    We have seen a lot of kids drift away

    And now they're gone

    But new blood and old ideals

    Help keep our vision strong


    It's more than music

    It's our life


    [NOTES]


    Doug Ernest-drums

    Christopher Jones-vocals

    Pete Chramiec-guitar

    Darren Mock-bass (except bass on "More Than Music": Dylan Roy)


    Arrangement & production: Verbal Assault

    Words-Jones

    Music-Chramiec

    Engineer-Stephen Seltzer

    Recorded 7.87 and 4.88 at Audio Matrix and Newbury Sound, Boston

    Artwork-Jones

    Layout-Pat Mooney


    Love and Thanks: Giant and Steev R., Stephen Seltzer, Carolyn & Mark, Tom, Chris, Dylan & Nick, Agnostic Front, Dolf H., Amnesty International, SANE/FREEZE, Misi B., Throwing Mooses, All of our friends in RI & across North America, & anyone who has written to us. Your support makes this possible.

    On (1989)

    ANGER BATTERY


    And in the end our effort

    Is water washing on a stone

    Tearing away, bit by chip

    History moves so fucking slow

    It moves so slow

    But it moves...


    Build yourself an anger battery

    To store all of your precious energy

    Needing every single bit so we

    Can wash that rock again


    Come back again

    To wear it down

    Anger battery


    There were times when our tides felt high

    That we might sweep, surround and win

    Just remember that in the despair of the later ebbs

    That we can make it happen again


    EXILE


    To make a decision

    That is just a process of elimination

    A choice to two is not enough

    I view both ends with mistrust


    Told to love because another hates

    No middle ground to mediate

    Your reasoning is tyrannous

    I view both ends with mistrust


    I feel like I'm an exile

    And I think of you

    I feel like I'm in exile

    And I can't get through


    Can't you remember the painful strife

    And untold waste of human life

    For arrogant judgment of their crimes

    We've been too wrong too many times


    And those who wish to continue on

    Acting as if there's nothing wrong

    Blinded by your false pride

    We sit and watch and help them die


    As the extremes push their ends

    I watch as the lines begin to bend

    As tactics fail in self defeat

    I watch as the ends begin to meet


    I walk away


    Communicate

    Articulate

    Educate

    Separate


    IMMERSION


    This is a theme

    And a feeling


    Return to the sea

    An ocean as home

    Familiarity

    Immersion:

    Feel it surround

    As it gently tries

    To pull you down

    I need to go back

    To edify

    Try to regain what I lack

    Immersion:

    As it starts to cover

    Feel it-you're being smothered


    Into the sea

    Learn

    That immersion

    Begs for brevity


    Into the sea

    I won't be swallowed

    If I don't follow

    Other's lead


    There is a time

    And a place


    Like a sinking stone fact

    Beneath, this blue water

    Turns inky black

    Immersion:

    And I start to wonder

    Will I be sucked under

    Into the sea


    Into the sea

    So I know the signs

    I know there's time

    Enough for me to leave


    Into the sea

    Wash away the tears

    Try to drown fears

    That's what it'll do to me


    There is knowledge

    In this emotion


    And I know

    This is a place

    I can not stay

    And I know

    I love this place

    I can not stay

    Because I know

    Survival instinct

    Will tear me away

    Into the sea

    Immersion


    Into the sea

    Wash away tears

    Try to drown fears

    That's what it'll so to me

    Into the sea

    Learn that immersion

    Begs for brevity


    THEY'RE TALKING


    When money talks, its cries

    Drown out the voices

    Of those trampled beneath

    Their feelings and their lives

    So misery lies in the street

    And I try to draw a line

    Between my drives and needs

    But I don't know where it lies


    Crying

    Murmuring

    Screaming

    They are all talking


    When doubt talks, it murmurs

    I always hear

    Influencing choices

    Blurs what should be clear

    Competing voices

    Make me fear

    Exploitation

    These murmurs are deafening my ear


    In this confusion

    I feel unsure

    Like I feel infected

    While I talk of a cure

    Remnants always left

    From attempts to break away

    Now I'm just wondering

    If I mean what I say


    Crying

    Murmuring

    Screaming

    They are all talking


    When fear talks, it screams

    Straight inside

    Coerced surrender

    Action forced to bind

    Looking, I see nothing of worth

    On the other side

    Left somewhere I don't want to be

    To watch the march of time


    ON


    Like crowded teeth

    This grows inside

    Must it come out

    It feels like every hardened chunk

    Tears me apart

    Yet I put it down

    And I put it on

    I put these words

    On around my head

    I wear them like a jewel

    And I wear them like a scar


    A roar starts in my ear

    It's on

    Bright shining light

    And a heat that sears

    It's on


    So we go on


    [NOTES]


    Christopher Jones-vox

    Pete Chramiec-guitars

    Darren Mock-bass

    Doug Ernest-drums


    Recorded and mixed 7.10-13, 7.17-19 1989

    Inner Ear Studios

    Engineered by Eli Janney


    Words-Jones

    Music-Chramiec (Except "Exile"-Chramiec and Tom Gorman)

    Arrangement-Verbal Assault

    Production-Verbal Assault

    Graphics and Artwork-Mock and Jones

    Typesetting and layout-Seth 'DC' and Mock


    Thanks to parents, friends, past members, and all who helped out.


    These lyrics are for Dean Albertson, 1920-1989.

    Exit (1991)

    TOOLS & DRUGS


    Phrases of praise or hate

    Created for the call

    Or made for paint

    To spray paint on the walls


    Words are like a drug sometimes

    A slogan is a tool of mine

    So you ever find yourself, sometimes

    Hungry and blind?


    I know that you can

    Comprehend

    That the truth will not be heard

    In a handful of words


    And we ask why

    Can she changes beliefs

    Like her clothes, like her hair

    You ask, "Do they care?"

    I don't think so


    Lives on slogans-makes me hungry

    Lives on slogans-leaves me empty

    Lives on slogans-makes me angry

    Lives on slogans


    When they reign, we're poor

    We have got to know more

    Than slogans


    GROUNDED


    My mind flies a mile ahead

    Of my heart which just leaves

    As the rest of me arrives


    I go to remind myself not to think

    (But I forget)

    Down it to get grounded

    I can't tell you if I've found it yet


    Down it to get grounded

    It's never a safe bet


    [NOTES]


    The instrumental "Exit" is dedicated to John St. John 1968-1991.

    Recorded July 1991 at Inner Ear Studios, Washington, DC

    Engineered by Don Zientara

    All material was written, arranged & produced by Verbal Assault


    Doug Ernest-drums

    Christopher Jones-vocals

    Pete Chramiec-guitars

    Dylan Roy-bass


    Thanks and love: Friends and family, Hetty Zwart, Dolf, Dave Chase, Jay Toste, Chris Gorman, Tom Gorman, Nick Barbato and everyone who gave help along the way.


    Verbal Assault played their first show September 24, 1983.

    Their last show was August 4, 1991.


    Artwork and layout by Christopher Jones, Andre & JW (w·e·r·k).


    Photo by Chris Gorman