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