Shallow

by whatever...

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    Note that you can buy all the tracks individually for a mere 50¢ apiece. However, if you're willing to pay just one American dollar more, you get all this: ♦ Bonus tune "Open Season," a rare track from the Jabberwocky sessions, previously released only on one CD compilation. ♦ Hi-res cover art, liner notes, and cassette photos, all scanned from our personal collection. Make your own cassette! ♦ Scans of whatever... stickers, a rare zine interview, and flyers promoting the album release show for Jabberwocky, all also scanned from our personal collection. ♦ And, of course, all 9 tracks available for individual download. What a perplexingly valuable deal! Act now, operators are standing by!*

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credits

released November 1, 1993


Ben Wrecked: guitar, vocals on "Negative Trend"
Joe Rybicki: bass, vocals
Matt Fish: percussion

music by Ben Wrecked, Joe Rybicki, and Matt Fish
lyrics by Joe Rybicki, except "Negative Trend" and "Seed" lyrics by Ben Wrecked

*please note, operators are not standing by

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

whatever... Cleveland, Ohio

whatever... was a Cleveland band in the 1990s. We opened for lots of great acts (e.g., Jawbox, Bosstones, Samiam) and even had a following of our own. Really, if you went to a Cleveland punk show in the mid-'90s, chances are pretty good you saw us. This is the stuff we were playing early on.

You can also hit either of the below links to buy the band's final album, Youngsters, on Amazon or iTunes.
... more

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Track Name: Good Question
Your instruction is selective.
It makes me wonder what it's for
if it just adds mortal fuel
to this building moral war.
We hear echoes of faith
in shouts of anger and contempt,
noises of derision from the heaven-sent.
Tradition, indecision, blasphemy to ask for proof.
Use god-given minds to blind yourselves,
twist words for your own use.
But the religion that you preach
inside your holy halls of truth
is just oppression when it's forced upon our youth.

It's such a simple thing,
just to believe without a thought,
spitting back the tired words
along with faith that you've been taught.
And this prejudice is natural,
it all comes out the same.
All the infidels and heathens
are distrusted in his name.
Divide the population
between the righteous and the damned
until the holy war is over
and not a single sinner stands.
If you hold the keys to heaven,
I'm sure I'll find myself in hell
because I will not pay blood money
for salvation that you sell.

Do you think that,
if your god were here today,
he would approve
of laying claim to some exclusive paradise?
I'm not seeking absolution
or forgiveness for some crime.
I'm not buying into your exclusive paradise.
Not this time.

Compassion for unfortunate,
compassion for the poor,
while the gold inside your churches
could feed all these mouths, and more.
Donations are accepted,
call the number on your screen.
This compassion isn't all
that it would seem to be.
Professions of allegiance
to an institution lie,
forcing words into my mouth
to build a violent storm inside.
Cast the first stone to condemn me
for a different point of view,
but it seems to me the Son of Man
was a nonconformist, too.
Track Name: Spade
Another four years gone, another torch to carry on
Another hidden crime, another once-in-a-lifetime
Another change of state, another face we'll learn to hate
Another caring soul, another bridge to cross, another toll.

Another broken truce, another object of abuse
Another industry, another politician
Another billion spent,
who knows where the money went?
Another TV smile, and all the while,
the people's eyes go blind.

We called a spade a spade,
another foolish claim we made
We forgot about the line between
what is and what we're told
We'd like our leaders just,
but men of steel will always rust
Corroded by the currency that fools mistake for gold.

Another four years gone, another torch to carry on
And in another four it'll all look just the same.
Track Name: Shallow
A written word, a spoken line
A voice inside that swears, "Just one last time."
A word of warning here, don't try to fight your pain
For fear and hurt and suffering will set your soul in frame
A wasted day is still a day, one more to set behind you
Strings of wasted days, in time, will set your soul in frame.

It's no more a game, but a way of life
I can hurt you so you do what I like
There is truth in lie, there is love in hate
There are politics in pain; don't fight it.

Hold fast to power slipping through your trembling hands
Keep a hold of your control to set your soul in frame.
A shallow image trapped behind this wall of glass
Uncomfortable reflections now will set your soul in frame.
Track Name: Simon
Hello, my name in Simon, and the things I draw come true
It seems my own creations are reality to you
But even if I told you it's a lie, I think you'd still believe
Because truth is something no one seems to need.

Hello, my name in Simon; yes, I know you know me well
I live inside your TV box and stare out at your cell.
telling you that everything's okay,
so you can waste away your days
On the other, more important games you play...

See, truth is just a detail in our very complex lives
Where we keep track of our money
as we keep track of our wives
And honesty and virtue are commodities to sell
Sex is up another point, but love has gone to hell.

Hello, my name is Simon and the things I draw come true
My network's now at number one, it's all because of you
You people who don't question what you see
Have made a millionaire of me
And now my lies are true because you all believe
Track Name: Pavement
A fifteen-year-old boy stares down at pavement
twenty floors below
He's tired of being alone, he wants to be accepted.
A paper pinned to his chest flutters in a sudden wind,
It says, "I'm tired of being alone.
Just leave me be. Just let me go."

I can't explain his reasoning, but then, nobody could
It seems to me that different eyes see very different worlds
Like when you're lying on the bottom,
there's only one way to go
But at the top, you can stand or you can fall.

I know your friends are cruel;
a jury of your peers rules you uncool
On clothes, or hair, or shoes, or superficial accessories.
But if you just give up, you've lost, they've won,
the fight is over
And you've just thrown it all away.
Don't throw it all away.

A thirty-year-old man
stares down at that same pavement far below
His home and family gone, addictions taking their toll
And unemployment is undignified for one of his kind
His pride distorts his mind. A welfare line? He'd rather die!

I can't explain his reasoning; again, nobody could
I think that sometimes darkened eyes
block out a brighter world
But when you're lying at the bottom
Thinking there's just one way to go
Sometimes the ground drops out beneath you and you fall.

Yes, the real world is cruel;
in bureaucratic eyes, you're just a tool
Machines to be abused and carelessly discarded in the end
But if you just give up, you've lost, they've won,
the fight is over
And you've just thrown it all away.
Don't throw it all away.

A fifteen-year-old boy stares down at pavement
twenty floors below
He tears his message up
And lets it go.
Track Name: Negative Trend
It amazes me how easily you conform yourself
Just to be another face that sinks inside the crowd
Follow, never questioning, and willing to give anything
And doing only what your clique allows
Cliche parties, parents gone
Be cool, get drunk, puke on the lawn
In the name of rebellion, be like me
Speak only when spoken to
And let your friends think for you
You piss on individuality

Why can't you see?
Why can't you be?
I can't stand you and you hate me
I can't understand it

It amazes me how easily you conform yourself
Just to be another face that sinks inside the crowd
I mull it over in my mind
But still no answers I can find
I pity all the lost ones who are blind.
Track Name: Corp. Killer
So a black man writes a song about a civil servant's death
And a thousand corporate cronies gasp for every final breath
As profits plunge into the red and Tipper squeals in glee
The Ministry of Truth decides this album should not be.

Well, I don't much like the song myself,
but I still think it's great
That it's causing such a ruckus in the temples of the state
Who, apparently, are fountainheads of creativity
Who just pretends this music comes
from punks like you and me.

So hail the corporations, the lords of art and style,
The holy corporations, let the corporations die.

Now it comes back to the question
of who says what's right and wrong
If the corporate whores at Warner are offended by this song
Is it right to make the artist stifle what he feels inside?
I'd understand it, maybe, if a cop or two had died.

But the ones who were accosted
by the threats of bombs and death
Were executives and businessmen, who had no part in this
And the ones who should feel threatened by the song
The didn't need to hide
I guess they realized where the real power lies.

It's in the corporations, the lords of art and style
The holy corporations
Let the corporations die.
Track Name: Soapbox
I sit and ponder, no ideas come to mind
No righteous new crusade to sell in three minutes' time
I'm sure there's something wrong here
That should make me want to kill
But for the life of me, I don't know what that is.

It's no surprise, I should have realized
I'll get down off my soapbox, because awareness doesn't sell
It's a lie, "Hey, kid, don't even try
You'll find that your idealistic rambling
Will get you into trouble someday."

Follow the system, friend, the way that you've been told
Don't worry if it seems it's your integrity you've sold
Who cares about the government?
Who cares about the war?
We just need sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll!
Track Name: Seed
There's nothing worse than pride
derived from someone else's pain
When you fight for fun and profit,
when you hate for selfish gain
There is no tribe superior,
there is no master race
Mention white supremacy
and I'll hide my white face.

Based upon your foolish pride,
your hatred masks what lies behind
Your macho, tough-guy image hides
stupidity and ignorance.

The seed was planted in you,
your heart its roots did find
The roots took hold, began to grow,
and took over your mind
Another brain defeated,
another mind struck blind
And now it's sad, you'll never see
just what you left behind.

The choice cannot be made for you
And what's been done, we can't undo
But too feel some pride in your own color
Does not mean bringing down another.

Your bigoted existence, your false self-righteousness
Your whole life filled with anger, your lack of common sense
The hatred grows inside you as intelligence decays
The reasons long forgotten why you even feel this way.

Based upon your foolish pride,
your hatred masks what lies behind
Your flowing robes and white hoods hide
stupidity and ignorance.