Strengths

by Invalids

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05:20
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04:56
6.
05:17
7.
06:33
8.
9.
05:58
10.
06:26

about

This album was written over ten non-consecutive months from January 2013 to August 2014. All guitars are in open tuning (EBEAbBE) with various capo placement and all bass is tuned to standard. Tabs are included as .txt files with download of the album, or are available in .tbt form here: www.tabit.net/tabs/list.php?f=5655

No picks allowed.
Invalids loves you (`:

credits

released 28 October 2014

All music and lyrics written by Pete Davis
Guitars and vocals performed and recorded by Pete Davis
Drums programmed by Pete Davis with VST Addictive Drums by XLN Audio

Bass performed and recorded by Nick Shaw

Backup vocals performed and recorded by Garrett Botkins (right) and Jon Lervold (left)

Additional vocals on track 7 performed by Ellie Price of Signals. (signalsuk.bandcamp.com),
recorded by Neil Kennedy at The Ranch in Southampton, UK

Community-assisted backup vocals on track 7 submitted by:
Channing Chu, Shawn Collins, Matt Coston, Nolan Dorics, Andrew Grannis, Jeremy Harvey, David Martin, Stephen Mlinarcik, Thomas Morehouse, Valerie San Filippo, Noah Schmitt, Alex Vanblaere, Matt Vees, Mikey Webber, James Whiting, and Rick Vincent Will

Artwork by Yvette Young
yvetteyoung.wordpress.com

All music mixed and mastered by Pete Davis

© 2014 Invalids

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Track Name: Sherwood Is Connector
In the absence of bigger problems,
We learned to magnify the small ones

Shuffle forward on your heels to keep from drifting,
To keep ourselves from backing through the door
The times we stayed up on the phone,
The times we wandered off alone,
Can you still reach us?
Can we still reach beyond the arms of the chair?
The things we bought and never used,
The times we sought our own abuse,
And did it teach us?
Is the pencil doomed to trace through its old grooves?

We will walk back home
We will wake back up

Day late for class so we stopped showing up
Aged state of glass policed and kept breaking up
And it shimmered haplessly, but we gave it up

Said blue ink lasts longer than black
There’s no significance in that

The times we polished our own shoes
The times we tied them on too loose and never knew
The times we came up with a plan,
The times we came to understand,
Without you, there’s no use

Mom found out…

Over my shoulder I saw you turning back around
And we believe it now, still no matter how I try
Everything’s out of place,
And from far away, it still looks the same
It’s not your fault we couldn’t change,
It’s not your fault we couldn’t fix our old mistakes

“Where was our luck when we needed it?”
Found a solid place to stand,
As long as we could keep still
Counted our last remaining breaths
As a measure of success
Track Name: Ironic Dysphemism
Stain set in a day
Washed to fade
Watched and walked away
With some forgettable charm
Regrettably long overstay
Tried to trace back to find ourselves again
Used to the silence

And it took us more than we’d like to admit
And it still takes

We hoped to release our whole memories for each other to see
But as much as we’d like to concede, we couldn’t share everything

For the times we thought something we couldn’t speak
Or the will to keep something we couldn’t keep

Spent all morning long planning how our simple dialog would go
And where it’d go

And surely it deviates
So what does that say?
If my success rate of guessing what you’re gonna say
Can’t get it straight

And I wouldn’t rely, even though my voice is sore,
On either one of us to leave it alone anymore
And at the end of it, I said everything’s alright
It was all I had to leave it said for the last time

All the stitches tight, and all the knots were tied
Waited long enough to make sure all the glue was dry
And we took it out
But just like every time, it drifted too high,
And got stuck in a tree the first time it left the ground
And there it stayed

“So let’s just pretend that everything said, everything we did,
Everything between you and me was never meant.”

Spent all afternoon going over and over again how it went
Got too close to tell if it’s that hard a sell
Can you hear yourself?
Track Name: The World Is Square
On self-improvement
We spent no longer than a day
Gathering up the things we never use
And no fewer than three weeks letting it go
Things we no longer need
That used to mean everything

On self-reliance
We set our alarm to sound first-thing when the sun rose
Placed it all the way across the room
(the necessity of progress)
But by the time it was hung high into the day
We couldn’t hear a thing so far away
So in our beds we stayed
And woke up late

On naiveté
I thought you’d stay

On keeping distance
We concede
It relents
We kept secrets

On honesty
I asked if it wasn’t so much worse idling unknowingly
In honesty, not really

On solidarity
Pictures I thought I’d put away in a drawer to keep them safe
But I looked every single place
Even those where they’d never have been saved
They were in the drawer the entire time
Just didn’t see it right away

On perseverance
We couldn’t grow
But we planted anyway

On predilection
Every time I drove past your window
I still, each time, passed it by

On reservation
“How can you tell me that everything will work out?”
There is no sort of source for this sort of thing
Measuring our strengths by the way we turned out limited

On acceptance
I left the light in the basement on
Track Name: Tiny Coffins
Back seat, windows up
The motion makes you sick
Forehead leaned against
The coldest pane, collecting as you breathe

The empty overpass, with three more to go, two hours in
And every song was saying it, beating it in, beat it to death
And you decided then that this time was different,
That it was time to finally try it
Even though it never worked before
Even though it’s never gonna work
It’s the best we’ve got, it’s the best chance for us now

And it could not come soon enough
In the back seat on the way home

It wasn’t that we saw it all through cracks of doors,
It’s that they felt it as we watched

Head rush, pounding, blushed and found out, hid all night

If we could work on what we know
If we could stop expecting it
All things we chase even though they’re not ours

The fold in the fabric frays from feeling out its shape
Pressed until it’s gone, if only we could change
The paths in the dark we’ve beaten down before
But never in the light, how it’s really paved
If only we could say what we really meant to say
If only we could listen to it right
If only we could spill it to her just what we were thinking
If only we could say the right thing, if only we could change

The patterns we’ve formed
That never found their way out

Keep it close, safe secret all alone

So you wrote it down and you threw it out
And you wrote it down and you threw it out
And you practiced how you wanted to sound
And you steeled yourself, and your heart was pounding
Up out of your chest and choking, stuffed into your throat
And your fumbled words and your sweaty shirt
And your shaking made it worse, and heard
“Flow, tide, ebb, road, night, sky, sand, home”
And you thought if you tried hard enough
it would work cause it’s different now
The overpass, the empty road, the courage just to say something
If we could just have had more time,
If we could just have had it figured out
Track Name: Whelk
Would it have made as much of an impact if it hadn’t happened then?
Trouble is influenced, the kind of strain that context makes
The empty seat with broken seat belts,
The longest bus ride home
Always the last one off
It didn’t matter
It was three months off
And two weeks gone

Took the bed next to the window
(moving out)
When dad put in the air conditioner
We wondered as we lied awake
We wondered how it stayed in place
Without falling into the back yard

The pool, a substitute shower
I already had a plan planned

Have you ever heard of a lightning whelk?
It’s a monster that absorbs lightning and
Stores the energy in its shell
So whatever you do, don’t attack the shell

Weight capacity
Waiting for a turn
Watching for mistakes
Alone in the cold when everyone was outside
“I don’t miss my span of attention”

And the sunscreen never worked
And putting on a shirt
Just made it worse

Tried to convince ourselves that this year would bring change
(an awkward stance)
Somehow never speak again

We fooled ourselves
It’s alright

I want you to know everything’s fine
You tried to say
I gave little back and tried to say
As little as I could say
Wait to show up late
And stand in the back

Trusting in some climax to give it closure but it was
Much quieter than we had thought it was really gonna be

Spent half a year in California
(take it back)
Let nothing follow us from home
The weather never changed a day we stayed there
(stay the same)
Except for the two days it rained in November
It was like time was stuck or standing still
And our surprise, we find
That all of this would still commit
That what we threw against the wall,
That it would really stick
Track Name: Petrichor
When the chair leaned too far, it rolled over
Anything inside it so rolling over, too

Errant condition an eager reflex tried to stall
Everyone is waiting, you don’t want to do this at all

Dust on the dining set
Nobody sits here

Think of when we said we’d stay
Think of the times outside
Anything could have been inches away
And we couldn’t see it
(any place should we choose to lie
No one would find us (out))
And I don’t have to learn from this mistake
And I don’t have to learn from anything

We tried to hold, long as we could,
To our reflections in the water
Went under

Tried to build a fence to keep the geese from walking through the yard
But geese can fly

There were empty houses down the street
We sneaked inside them
There were times in the basement
We could swear there was someone upstairs then
(odd echo, silent stone)
You said we had best keep still
You said part of you wished they would come for you anyway

There were empty trestles
Where the train used to run through here
Then someone fell off
And died
You faced it staying up all night
You wanted to go there
I hated the black hole
I hated the skin surface overturning,
Uncovering all the awful things that crawl around inside

I tried to hide the fact I came upstairs
Hoping I would see you
Tried to hide the fact I gave up coming to see
“The worst is over”

Twisting and stepping over my stomach,
I saw you walking back from my turning shoulder
(everyone’s waiting)
Sat against the wall in the hallway last night
You asked me if I had felt a thing
What could I say?
Track Name: Satellite
We learned to stop staring at the floor
We learned to stop hoping it would offer us our guidance anymore
There was a turn before you froze
We all knew it was something when
Everyone was backing up
(I know it won’t matter, I won’t keep bringing it up)
So we’ll sit in silence once more
So we offered silent answers
(open so, as you’re breaking up)
Kept to myself and you kept to yourself
And we hoped one another could not keep it up

Moving across the hall

I said I’d call
There was no answer
There was no reason
Wandered off from the back yard
There were no answers to anything we called

I waited for you before we went in
And you said
Slept at your desk and you slept in your closet
You got rid of everything but it wasn’t working
Fled into turning to seek rolling over
There’s no reason to think that anything was happening
But it still feels like we’re falling forever
And even in dreams
There’re still some things that we can’t make up
Said it really happens if you don’t wake up

Thought if you concentrated hard enough you could control
The governing circumstances keeping you grounded
You tried but you couldn’t control anything

And there’s no reason we set there
On the grass that never grew
Feigning interest in alien things
So at least we had something to say
Answering between clarity
So at least we had some place to stray

Wait on headlights when you’re coming over,
Still worried it won’t go away
And all we had as we waited there
Was waiting there

Promise me you’ll never bother
Asking me what I’m thinking when you know
You know there’s nothing to say
You’ll know what it is anyway
Entirely something else than when you’re alone

Maybe it was something we didn’t want to know
Maybe it earned its place hidden under us all
All the time trying to give meaning undue
All the time on each other neither one of us knew

Feels like we’ve been falling forever like a satellite
Set floating there in orthogonal orbit

Learned to stop commiserating
Learned to stop equivocating
Learned to rely on our relying on anaphora
With “haiku-like imagination”
Almost missed the view from the window

Woke up at midnight, headlights rolling over
Said there was something so important that it couldn’t wait
Said you were watching but you couldn’t shoulder it now

We learned to stop staring at the door
We learned to stop wondering if we could still escape it anymore

Everyone saw, I know, I know
The blank frames on your book shelf
Everyone felt better then
(I won’t, I won’t)
There was a place we both said we’d meet if we fall too far apart
So we sit still staring at the floor
So we sit still hoping that we’ll actually do what we learned we should do
And that either of us will find someplace to start
Track Name: The Horse Raced Hardest Lost
Watched the nails, made sure they stayed down
Watched it all, lowered into the ground

The fountain gone, just a baron concrete hull
And always there was fear of forever drying out
But when it rained, it wasn’t quite same
The wind would chill and the clouds came sulking in
But no amount of will or force
Could make the metal rain
Dance like where we bathed
And still all summer the storms seemed to insist
That they were more

Than collections of awful sounds (discordant slurs)
Adopting some artistic appeal to no one

So we tied the shutters down
(spoke up over it)
And we turned ourselves away
(some needless music)
We were answered with a flood
(forceful, swept away)
To deny attentions paid
(willful sway)

We conceded, it relented
We’ve been meaning to believe it
Our perceptions, implemented
We thought ours was right
So we put up a fight
With nothing to back it up

Records syncing up with the frames
It’s not the same

Slow, you swear you could see the nails all lifting
Still, you swear you could see the lid lifting
Now you swear you believe it’s coming back to life

Laid in bed, your arm across your eyes blocks the light
Every night for the past week I’ve tried to keep it together, to keep it alive
But I know what I’ve done, I know what we said, and I know what we really meant
If I wrote out the words to myself, I’d probably say that you’re kidding yourself,
You’ll never convince her, you’ll never get over this time of your life
That the truth wasn’t what you said, was it? The truth wasn’t so flat, was it?
But even if I had written to myself I’d never have read it

The sound of her crying
Her voice breaking apart
What you did to stop it
But you couldn’t stop it

“Couldn’t rest with this sense of duty hanging off of our chests”
In a way it was for the best, to drive out of the driveway one last time
And never look back

We fight and never know why

Still you wonder now
(we concede)
Every now and then
(it relents)
Still you wonder how
(we proceed)
If things were different

Swear you’d never rest
(without your gaze)
Swear you’d not regret
(the ones who take your place)
Swear you’d soon forget
(crossing out your name)
So you tried your best
(so you tried your best)
Track Name: Halo Brace
Your focus
Your posture
Your heightened blood pressure
What ill came over?
A soft eulogy you kept mixing up
I was a scarecrow waiting
For company

By the time the rain had stopped
There was a seagull swimming
The sidewalk used to say something
We carved our names in
Weather so warned erasure

Pulling in and out the chairs
Carving lines in the carpet
You were concrete setting
Attention though never faltered,
Feels like you felt something, too

I was the dark
Your legs out the window
Your head in the back seat
Dome light
You were an echo without any wall
Swore you would never tell anyone

The shrug, the scope,
The angle of the way we’re slanted still,
I left a note hung on the door
And pointed out the way your arms were crossing either way
We were leads confused

You wanted not to wake up alone
I was a fool, then, sleeping

It wasn’t that we didn’t know what words to say
It’s that we misread every one

What ill befits bodies turned over
“that you add up all the cards left to play to zero”
Track Name: Antimetabole
In the absence of all the effort sitting up straight
Our eyes learned to return to stares
I offered so little then
Cause that’s what I thought you would have said

Spent all evening long
Debasing back to still retracing our missteps

I concede to relent

It wasn’t “I didn’t mean”
It’s “I misrepresented”
And over again
You said you feel fine

There was no mess we left
I already added back
And still I waited there (there was nothing there)

You offered nothing
And I did the same to protest
(learned to stop sleeping on the floor)
We never held so much in
Everyone was waiting

Waited up watching the ceiling
Wondered if I would see just when the dream started
But I fell asleep

Said you watched the ceiling,
Think ours both look the same?
(it wasn’t working)
Honest, you expected when I lied, “I feel fine”

You came to this conclusion the same way I did
(it was hopeless)
Is the sky so doomed to deny us our shadows?

I was our breath saved
You were arête
I was our plans laid
We were ill-conceived
I was in the way
I was the darkness
Backdrop of your window
Tried to decipher its shape without ever facing it

Maybe there was something holding us up
Something that positioned us where we are
Stuck so close together
So we made no difference

Measured progress by how little we’ve changed
Measuring our strain by the ways we’re still the same
Then, in the absence of each other,
Slowly our shoulders settled
“on our knees, we made it hard to breathe.”