Band HistoryKody LittleChris ChildressMatt SpivackCalvin Merseal

Track Listing

01) Sketches

Making Them Feel

Success? (Moreoverture)

Retail Robot

Rising to Incompetence

No Glass Ceiling

Nothing to Lose

War Song

Can’t Go Back to Yesterday (Asunderture)

Forever Broken

The Misfortune of Time

But a Beast

I Will

Chapter I: Making Them Feel (MS)

In our temperamental social state
We must not diverge
Waste no time now, don’t create
Pragmatists converge

But what of the artist
Whose soul won’t congeal?
He’s waking the sleepers
And making them feel

We’ll distract the lot, they’ll sit and watch
Gross displays of fame
Best laid plans, afraid to botch
Everyone the same

But what of the artist
Whose soul won’t congeal?
He’s waking the sleepers
And making them feel

Shopping malls and politics
Keep them cowed and meek
Keep their heads as thick as bricks
Soon our words they’ll speak

But what of the artist
Whose soul won’t congeal?
He’s waking the sleepers
And making them feel

Chapter II: Success? (Moreoverture)

[Instrumental]

Chapter III: Retail Robot (CM)

Where do you see yourself?
What are your goals?
We work for fortune here
Never mind souls

List your priorities
Tell me your strengths
We’ll need your loyalties
At any length

Keep your name safe on a tag
Mind your feet, don’t let them drag
Straighten, clean, and never lag
Fix it all again!

Slave away to claim your pay
Clock in, work your life away
Never having any say
Human is a sin!

Sell your humanity
Sweat till your death
Live for a paycheck from
Breath till last breath

Half of a thought in mind
Time slips on by
Hours, eight at a time
Don’t wonder why

Keep your name safe on a tag
Mind your feet, don’t let them drag
Straighten, clean, and never lag
Fix it all again!

Slave away to claim your pay
Clock in, work your life away
Never having any say
Human is a sin!

Climbing the ladder up
Right to the ground
Rise to incompetence
So safe and sound

Tearing your spirit down
Try not to drown
Rise to incompetence
You’ll come around

Chapter IV: Rising to Incompetence

[Instrumental]

Chapter V: No Glass Ceiling (CM)

It’s a hard line
Rise up to the top
Such a wild time
And I’ll never stop
Grab a gold key
And open the lock
To a new life
A future in stock

No glass ceiling, no more feeling
Greed is a gift that just keeps giving
No glass ceiling, no more feeling
I’m bleeding green but I can’t stop living

Got a closure
An equity loan
Under oak desk
Adulterous moan
Buy a gold watch
A new motorcar
In a new suit
Top shelf at the bar

No glass ceiling, no more feeling
Feed on the rush that just keeps gripping
No glass ceiling, no more feeling
I’m falling slow when the noose starts slipping

In a stone cast
A black eagle eye
With a dark glare
A half-broken sigh
Get a cold heart
That will never thaw
On the fast track
And you’ll be in awe

Walk a long road
And walk it alone
For the good life
Made all on your own
Play your cards right
Your numbers will fly
Take a hard look
And ascend to the sky

No glass ceiling, no more feeling
Greed is a gift that just keeps giving
No glass ceiling, no more feeling
I’m bleeding green but I can’t stop living

No glass ceiling, no more feeling
Steel to my lips, a trigger teasing
No glass ceiling, no more feeling
I’m breaking down but I can’t stop!

Chapter VI: Nothing to Lose (CM)

Where do you see yourself?
Where is your head?
If you can’t pay your bills,
You’ll wind up dead

Be realistic now
Don’t be a fool
Your passion amounts
To a drop in a pool

Chapter VII: War Song (MS)

Thoughts you must collect, we can direct your life my boy
If you choose to serve you will deserve your worldly joy
To teach you how to kill, your social will we must destroy
But it’s only for a bit then you can quit your dark employ

Widows cry and good men die
Still we fight and don’t ask why
Senseless crime with no reason or rhyme
The war song sung as the death tolls climb

Marching through a haze, a distant gaze with tired eyes
Chewing on their fears from all the years of constant lies
Leaders fueled by hate cannot abate the endless cries
Youth with lives delayed are now afraid of their demise

Mothers cry and good men die
Still we fight and don’t ask why
Senseless crime with no reason or rhyme
The war song sung as the death tolls climb

On the evening news, the camera crews shoot grizzly scenes
For the viewers to digest as they rest at TV screens
In between the ads to sell them fads and new blue jeans
No one seems to care, they’re unaware of what it means

Children cry and good men die
Still we fight and don’t ask why
Senseless crime with no reason or rhyme
The war song sung as the death tolls climb

Chapter VIII: Can’t Go Back to Yesterday (Asunderture) (CM)

In search of ways I could refresh
I fled from such a broken nest
Awake, I set out in distress
To find a place where I might rest
I’m lost inside an open mind
Illusion overwhelming flesh
The real and thought are intertwined
And tangled in my mental mesh
Where echoes sound of past romance
And sorrows of my heart can bind
I’m out of time without a chance
Against the grain I fell behind
I never knew what would remain
From lonesome nights lost at a glance
Not sure that I could bear the pain
Or plot a grander circumstance
We play our games and tell our lies
But never can we clear the stain
A passion thought to tantalize
Was just a heart that cried in vain
With memories of friendship lost
The residue of half-held tries
How can I ever pay the cost
Of broken spirit’s slow demise?
I’m at a loss with blood run dry
Necrotic, lying in the dark
While deaf and blind to every cry
And sure to never leave a mark
Resigned to live a life of ease
To go to work and earn my pay
To never do just as I please
And struggle all my life away
But can I just exist at best
And never live the life I seek
Within my soul I must invest
Escape existence dull and meek

Chapter IX: Forever Broken (MS)

Sound advice I just won’t take
While these fractured thoughts remain
Help me be what I must be
Don’t let the breaking be in vain

Endless dreaming as I wake
Cause reality to fade
As I live and breathe I see
The role I feel I should have played

I find I cannot tear my eyes away
I have to search for something else to say
A losing battle I fight every day
But I will persevere and find a way

To compromise is no small feat
Yet so desperately I seek
With lips that smile, eyes that frown
A way to change my fate so bleak

Though in myself I felt complete
Misery loves company
And so, my darkness dragged me down
To compromised humanity

Though my emotions are in disarray
I’ll find my strength; look to the skies and pray
My love for life will change but not decay
Forever broken, I will not break away

Ache of love still not forgotten
Sting of friendship ill-begotten
Burn of lust that’s seldom spoken
Pain of heart forever broken

Needle’s bite so cold, yet pleasant
Weary mind on past and present
Bill of health a passing token
Sense of self forever broken

Chapter X: The Misfortune of Time (CM)

Moving on in silence
Can’t leave the past behind
Lost in pure resistance
Just waiting for a sign

Crying out for something
Can’t make myself forget
Lost in isolation
A victim of regret

Living out a nightmare
Can’t fall into my stride
Lost within delusion
And so, my time I bide

Giving up my hunger
Can’t seem to keep my pace
Lost my will to struggle
I feel like a disgrace

Forced to paint your pretty pictures
On a vacant wall
Playing notes for absent faces
No one there at all

But what of the artist
Whose soul won’t congeal?
He’s waking the sleepers
And making them feel

Walk along the lifeless trenches
You don’t have a prayer
Learn that time’s a fickle mistress
Wasted without care

Taking no more chances
Can’t face the ticking clock
Lost inside a shadow
With no more light to block

Bleeding for an answer
Can’t race the sands of time
Lost my sense of being
My fortune is sublime

Clock hand like a rusting needle
Scratching at your brain
Dig it in a little deeper
Drain away the pain

But what of the artist
Whose soul won’t congeal?
He’s waking the sleepers
And making them feel

Step beyond the sterile darkness
Searching for new light
Learn that life’s a lengthy battle
Lost without a fight

Chapter XI: But a Beast (MS)

Awake another day
Suburban slow decay
With both feet on the ground
And head so far away
Nametags and checkout lines
No plans or grand designs
To ticking timeclock bound
My life, my job defines

Deceit and venture bold
A fortune mine to hold
Behind a thin disguise
A heart that’s long been cold
At war, shipped overseas
With victims on their knees
Well-fed on fear and lies
Against false enemies

Chart the course of your life
Fill your sails and find your light
Overcome clockwork strife
Push on through the lonesome night

Alone until the end
Deriding every trend
Outpaced by falling sand
A will that cannot bend
My love so hard to quit
Unable to commit
Alone but firm I stand
Content to be unfit

Chart the course of your life
Fill your sails and find your light
Overcome clockwork strife
Push on through the lonesome night

Chapter XII: I Will (MS)

We must learn how to relate
Different paths aside
Waste no time now, must create
No more need to hide

For I am the artist
My soul won’t congeal
I’m waking the sleepers
And making them feel!

Lyrics by, Matt Spivack & Calvin Merseal

Liner Notes

Matt Spivack: Vocals, Flute, Guitar
Kody Little: Guitar, Vocals
Chris Childress: Bass
Calvin Merseal: Drums, Keyboards

Special Thanks to,

Terri Childress, Nicki Childress, Greg Steinman, SourceOne Technologies, Big Mama Fitzgerald, United Interests Mgmt, What Are Records?, The Matlock Law Group, and our other friends and family, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, Modest Mussorgsky, George Frideric Handel, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Rush, Yes, Genesis,and all of the other great artists who came before

“Sketches” is Dedicated to all Artists
and what they give to this world

Special Guest Performances by:

Sadie Trigg: Vocals

Recorded at UI Sound Studios in Boulder, CO
Produced by Evan Reeves, Max Nordby & Amalgam Effect
Engineered by Evan Reeves, Max Nordby & Jackson Prince
Mixed/Mastered by Chris Scott
Executive Producer: Matt Spivack & Calvin Merseal
Cover Art: Jasmine Zion
Layout: Calvin Merseal
All Music by Amalgam Effect
Additional Compositional Contribution by Richard Spivack
Lyrics by Matt Spivack & Calvin Merseal
℗ © 2019 Amalgam Effect

Album Narrative

Alan Quill is a bookstore clerk who writes on his off time. The tone was set, but not forever. With convention and rules all carefully observed, life distilled into a series of pleasant formulas. What next?
A phone call and an offer from an old friend, and then the tone would have to change. Which life was the right life?
The quiet life of a retail worker?
The wild life of a high-paid executive?
The dangerous and valorous life of a soldier?
A life with  a different past?
A life with  better future?
No life at all?
Alan Quill is a writer.
Alan Quill is a writer?
Alan Quill is…

Quotes

“Success for us is the death of the intellect and of the imagination.”
-James Joyce, Ulysses
“I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture.”
-Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
“Life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”
-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
“One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
“It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune.”
-William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
“What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed?”
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet
“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.”
-James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man