Strengths

by Invalids

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  • Double LP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Limited-edition Strengths double LP printed to vinyl by Soft Speak Records, available here: www.softspeakrecords.com/products/542201-invalids-strengths

    Being a non-profit label, all proceeds are donated to SAVE animal shelter in Princeton, NJ.
    www.save-animals.org

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  • Limited-edition CD
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CDs are printed through Friend of Mine Records on sleek cardboard bi-fold sleeves.

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1.
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?”¹ Found a solid place to stand, As long as we could keep still Counted our last remaining breaths As a measure of success ¹Crash of Rhinos - "Big Sea"
2.
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.”¹ 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? ¹American Football - "Never Meant"
3.
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?”¹ 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 ¹The Get-up Kids - "Ten Minutes"
4.
05:20
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”¹ 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 ¹The Appleseed Cast - "Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets"
5.
04:56
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”¹ 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 ¹NoFX - "We Threw Gasoline on the Fire and Now We Have Stumps for Arms and No Eyebrows"
6.
05:17
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”¹ 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? ¹Cursive - "Staying Alive"
7.
06:33
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”¹ 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 ¹Algernon Cadwallader - "Casual Discussion in a Dome between Two Temples"
8.
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”¹ 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) ¹Anathallo - "Hoodwink"
9.
05:58
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”¹ ¹Elliott Smith - "Angeles"
10.
06:26
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.”¹ ¹Nada Surf - "Bacardi"

about

This album has been pressed to vinyl by Soft Speak Records (`:
www.softspeakrecords.com/products/542201-invalids-strengths

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

Invalids tabs:
[.tbt] www.tabit.net/tabs/list.php?f=5655

[.txt] https://www[dot]dropbox[dot]com/s/k6e1iasda658cig/Invalids%20Tabs%20Complete%20Mar%202015.zip?dl=0

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credits

released October 28, 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

This album contains allusions to songs I love and that have influenced my life, both musically and emotionally.

Crash of Rhinos - "Big Sea"
American Football - "Never Meant"
The Get-up Kids - "Ten Minutes"
The Appleseed Cast - "Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets"
NoFX - "We Threw Gasoline on the Fire and Now We Have Stumps for Arms and No Eyebrows"
Cursive - "Staying Alive"
Algernon Cadwallader - "Casual Discussion in a Dome between Two Temples"
Anathallo - "Hoodwink"
Elliott Smith - "Angeles"
Nada Surf - "Bacardi"

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Invalids Princeton, New Jersey

Invalids started as the bedroom project of Pete Davis (with remote internet-based collaboration with other musicians). As of March 2015, it has grown to a proper four-piece band with the addition of Joe Scala, Raymond Bonanno, and Brock Benzel.

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