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Searching For A Former Clarity

by Against Me!

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Another gem from the Sunshine State! Inspired by hurricanes, swamp gators, and corrupt elections, this punk rock magnum opus is their most mature stuff yet. Search Party!


released September 6, 2005



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Against Me! Gainesville, Florida


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Track Name: Miami
We charge into danger. No guarantees or safe places. No one can be trusted, everyone is a suspect. All the money’s worthless. The talent is trite and exaggerated. The food is turning, the water is poison. It’s rotting your teeth right out of your head. Sight and hearing are quickly fading. Your guts expanding. Your hairline’s receding. The sores are opening. The cancer’s spreading. The antibiotics aren’t working. All the drugs are just strangely sobering. The skeletons in your closet have opened the door and they’ve started talking.

Just like Miami! Fucking Miami! Sharks circling for the feeding. All hope has been abandoned like ballots drifting into the ocean.

They’re in your room while you’re sleeping. They’re in your car behind the seat waiting. The rifle sights are on the back of your head. They’re slipping it in your drink when you’re not looking. They’re selling it to you as art, it’s every other word in movies and songs. The public is buying it’s business as usual and the business is capitalizing on your fear, your greed, your perversions, and vices. They say you’re guilty and they’ve got the evidence to prove it. The mistakes are obvious. The faults are glaring. The plane is on fire. The fucking ship is sinking. Swept away in a hurricane. Buried in the rubble of an earthquake. It’s terminal. Inoperable. They’re amputating. Massive hemorrhaging. Major fucking complications.

Just like Miami! Fucking Miami! Sharks circling for the feeding. All hope has been abandoned like ballots drifting into the ocean.
Track Name: Mediocrity Gets You Pears (The Shaker)
Foul Play! There’s a target on the audience.
Vampires! We’re only in it for the money.
Dilute! We took the movement to the market.
So Fuck Us! We totally sold out the scene.

Excite me! Excite me! Nothing really excites me, there’s no connection at all.

Co-opted! There’s vultures preying on the underground.
It’s Packaged! It’s just fashioning rebellion.
Mainstream! It was better in the basement.
Lynch Mob! Tar and feather the pretenders in the streets.

Excite me! Excite me! Nothing really excites me, I feel no connection at all. There’s no connection at all.
Track Name: Justin
They’re advertising on the T.V.
“Become a soldier.”
It’s still High School politics you know.
Nothing’s changed, jocks and assholes still don’t know shit about aesthetic.
I think I smell a rat.
We sold our revenge and now we’re working for them.

Where’s the divide?

You know Justin? Well, Justin’s dead.
Yahoo won’t let his family have access to his email account.
The news reporter said, “I feel so bad for you and so awkward. There’s really nothing I can say...” (Cut to commercial break).
“Merry X-Mas and Happy Holidays from network and affiliates.”

Where’s the divide?
Track Name: Unprotected Sex With Multiple Partners
Everyone’s a critic but hey they really respect your talent. Have your manager call my manager and we’ll make records together. At this level of success in entertainment there are certain connotations. It’s a “you give, we take” relationship, the kids just wouldn’t understand it. Come on now, how long do you think this is really gonna last? How long can you hold their attention?
How long before they move onto the next band?

Do you want to know how it feels on the inside?

Coordinate the marketing, label, publicity, touring.
Consult on timing and presentation.
Go ahead put this in context.
It’s 3 points on production, 15% to management, 10% to the agent, 5% legal representation. We’ll call it our insurance plan to stretch the inevitable as far as we can. Gotta make your money while you got the chance. Do whatever it takes to sell it.

Do you want to know how it feels on the inside?

Just how desperate can we be? Go buy our record and see.
Just how angry can we seem? Go buy our record and see.
Just how fucked up can it get? Go buy our record and see.
Just how much can we bleed? We’re completely irrelevant on
LP and compact disc.

Do you want to know how it feels on the inside?
Track Name: From Her Lips To God's Ears (The Energizer)
Regime change under a Bush doctrine. Democratic installations. Constant war for constant soldiers. What are we gonna do now? De-escalation through military force. Increase the pressure. Oh Condoleezza what should we do about the situation (developing) in Iran and North Korea? Condoleezza? Democratic election under martial law. An Iraqi president out of U.S. controlled choices. After all this death and destruction do you really think your actions advocate freedom? The President’s giving a speech in Georgetown to remember the voice of a slain civil rights leader. Do you understand what the Martyr stood for? Oh Condoleezza do you get the fucking joke? Condoleezza? What are we gonna do now?
Track Name: Violence
Lock the door to your room. Pray they don’t find us.
Pray they don’t kick it down.
You’ve been keeping secrets and these kind of lies have consequences.
So many possibilities for this to all end badly, it’s almost guaranteed.
Nothing but shame and paranoia, a slightly desperate feeling, to calm you to sleep.

What could we have done to deserve a violence like this?

Watch the light coming under the door.
Listen for footsteps coming down the hall.
Are you gonna wake up screaming through a slit throat?
Young flesh searing on a twin mattress.
But it doesn’t have to be the way things end.
We don’t have to give up just yet.

What could we have done to deserve a violence like this?
Track Name: Pretty Girls (The Mover)
What are you gonna say when she picks up the phone?
Should you leave a message if she’s not at home?
I wanted to know if you’d like to see a movie or get a drink.
It would be cool just to be in your company.
But if she says yes knowing what intentions might be.
If one thing leads to another and there’s some chemistry.
You cannot lie, you have to tell the truth.
You have to explain why this could never be.
That there are things that cannot be undone.
That there are mistakes that will never be forgiven.
Sometimes at night I pray to wake a different person in a different place.

Maybe we could just be friends.
I am being a bit presumptuous.
The stomach turns the mind starts to race, you nervously start to exaggerate.
I just want to be young, I want to live.
I want to be healthy, I don’t want this problem.
You wouldn’t think something like (sexual) irresponsibility
could complicate something like asking for a girl’s company.
But there are things you must accept as said and done.
There are truths you must learn to confront.
You can pray all night and day, you’ll always wake the same person in the same place.

Drunk mouth ruined it again. Sometimes I say the dumbest things. Baby, it’s not you specifically it could be anybody. I’ve gone and built this up in my head and now it’s already over. It’s already over before it started.
Track Name: How Low
I’ll wake up around four or five. Eat, shower and get dressed in about an hour’s time. Take my vitamins, check my messages, and call around to some friends. Make plans for dinner and drinks sometime after nine. We’re definitely going to call it in early tonight. Need to dry out, take some time to clear my mind. Before I know it here I am again, 2 o’clock in the morning. Standing in a bar with a drink in hand.

How low can you go before you can’t turn around?

Seriously this is my last and final time, I’m making some big big changes in my life. No you won’t catch me down here again waiting to score, sweaty money palmed in my hand. What are you cutting this with anyway? ‘Cause I have got some really really big plans. And today is the day I’m putting them into action. Then before I know it here I am again, six o’clock in the morning. Rolled up dollar bill in my hand.

How low can you go before you can’t turn around?

I’m sick of feeling like I’m losing my mind. Sick of doing the same things most night after night. Sick of self-loathing and self-absorption, self-destructive narcissism. I’m sick to death of being constantly fucking sick of.

I don’t know who I can trust. Thought there was us, but there is no one.
Track Name: Joy
All is quiet, except for this song.
So maybe while I’m not together I can feel like I’m not alone.
Somewhere off in the distance rapidly advancing is an onslaught of sorts.
Young sirens wail in a skewed sense of glory and the lions in their cages roar in a memory of flight.

There is a joy, a joy in all I can see. There is a joy, in every possibility.

All around us is a great great failing.
American rockets red glare in a most disgusting triumph.
In passing I am asked do you believe in a god?
I shrug off the answer, continue to get high.
In this terror of no explanation I am looking for a faith, my panic is an only reason.

There is a joy, a joy in all I can see. There is a joy, in every possibility.
Track Name: Holy Shit!
I am oh-so fascinated. I am oh-so entertained.
Standing here like a comedian I repeat what I say again and again and again,
until the meaning has become an imitation of itself.
An impression of an original defeats the purpose.
I don’t know where this is going but it’s looking more and more like the same
place that we started.

Oh good god! Holy Shit!! The joke’s on us, not on them. Just kids pretending to be astronauts, police officers, and firemen.

Everybody’s watching the lead singer in the band.
The guitars exploding to a drum beat that’s driving.
It’s pretty fucking boring, don’t you think?
Of all the things we’d ask.
All the ways we’d like for it to be.
They’re just drunken conversations.
Song lyrics sung at the top of our lungs so desperately.
Like, I believe in a power that is of and by the people.
I believe in an art that cannot be compromised.
I believe that all will endure and all will overcome.
And I will sing it till I no longer remember the reason.
What was that reason?
Track Name: Even At Our Worst We’re Still Better Than Most (The Roller)
You can have it all.
I ain’t got the heart to fight.
I’m all used up.
Total exhaustion.
Complete breakdown.
For the asshole I am, apologies in full.
Please leave me alone.
Pull over the van, let me out.

We’ll give the money back to the record label.
Fire the agent, fire the manager.
We don’t have what it takes to make it.
We’ve got indifference.
We’ve got no respect for them.
Feels like I’ve already said so much.
Feels like I could never say enough.
Let someone else take our place.
Let them be your entertainment.

You know they’re just waiting to tear us apart.
Track Name: Problems
An inventory has been taken of every belonging.
An estimated value if sold in event of an emergency.
The only back-up plan in case this doesn’t work out.
In losing all semblance of coherence to a former self,
I am becoming the choices we’re making.

There are problems, problems with everything.

Sometimes it’s like conversations are a waking dream.
From a third party perspective.
An audience to the self, you can almost see the sound traveling.
A constant feeling of anticipation, while all of the sudden you know what’s going to happen. These are the paranoias that filled your world.
They neither eat nor sleep, they have no name.
Here in the worst I will become the best of them all.
No more problems, problems with anything.
Track Name: Don't Lose Touch
You’re coming off kinda contrived and pretentious. You’re not saying anything we haven’t heard before. So caught up in an argument. You’re so lost in modern art. You will lose it all and you will find again. Just don’t lose touch.
Don’t lose touch. S.O.S. texted from a cell phone. Please tell me I’m not the only one that thinks we’re taking ourselves too seriously. Just a little too enamoured with inflated self-purpose. Talk is cheap and it doesn’t mean much.
Don’t lose touch.

I’m losing touch.

Constant entertainment for our restless minds.
Constant stimulation for epic appetites.
Is there something wrong with these songs?
Maybe there’s something wrong with the audience.
Manipulation in rock music = Nausea.

I’m losing touch and it’s obvious.
Track Name: Searching For A Former Clarity
No the doctors didn’t tell you that you were dying.
They just collected their money and sent you on your way.
But you knew all along, went on pretending nothing was wrong.
You said, “I will keep my focus ‘til the end.”
In the journal you kept by the side of your bed you wrote nightly in aspiration of developing as an author.
Confessing childhood secrets of dressing up in women’s clothes.
Compulsions you never knew the reasons to.
Will everyone you ever meet or love be just a relationship based on a false presumption?
Despite everyone you ever meet or love, in the end will you be all alone?

As the disease spread slowly through your body,
Pumped by your heart to the tips of your arms and your legs.
Your greatest fear was that your mind wouldn’t last.
That coherency and alertness would be the first things to fade.
As your hair thinned, as your teeth blackened, as the weight fell off,
As the lesions spotted your skin.
As you fell to your knees in the center of the stage, as you offered witness to your humanity in exchange for the ticket’s price.
As the lights blended into the continuing noise, as all hope was finally lost.
Adrenaline carried one last thought to fruition.
Let this be the end. Let this be the last song. Let this be the end. Let all be forgiven.