O, Precious Funnel Cloud

by At All Costs

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4010 A great bit of that turn-of-the-millennium emo pop which once bubbled up at the tail end of emo's second wave, seasoned with a hint or two of what was happening in indie rock at time--think Hot Rod Circuit, with maybe a dash of Straylight Run. I'd love to hear the other albums by At All Costs which are alluded to in the album description, but unfortunately it seems they haven't made it to the internet. Favorite track: Progress?.
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1.
Progress? 04:35
Tragedy is hackneyed, but we can't stop writing it. It's the same store found on every corner. It's convenient, so there's no use fighting it. Just pay up and be a patron of downfall. He's stationary, Trouble lurking just within reach. Ignoring voices from the "old world," He's a victim of technology. Wake up, new world, see what we've become. Pull the blinds, and see the sun. For convenience kills when convenience strikes, And alertness makes its way too slowly to save everyone. He'll cover tracks with Os and ones. Consequence is an old notion. These lines are clogged with omens. Log into your new Sodom and Gomorra. God, save us all.
2.
Nothing is changing. It has finally occurred to me, The skies darken the longer I stay here. O, to get away from the stagnancy of every day And feel the waves engulf and cleanse my soul. Like a wounded bird, I'm willing but unequipped. Fly me on wings of eagles. Take me out of here. I'd have fled this long ago.
3.
Everything around me seems to have ceased in all its action, And the loudest of the loud are mute. Their mouths still move, but I can't hear. A still and eerie silence gives way to the changing winds That turn my focus solely inward. The swirl of gray clouds tightens in my head. And it's been years since I've felt so calm. New ideas and mindsets become strong, Twisting together, preparing to touch down, O, precious funnel cloud. Take root and destroy what is not needed. Leave only the new and useful, That I might have more abundant life.
4.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the lone remaining kernel In a bag where all the others have been popped. Sometimes I feel like I'm supporting heartless criminals And vying for their charges to be dropped. But I'm one of them. You can only spiral downward for so long Before you're stuck beneath the soil and plants. Then you'll gasp unsuccessfully for breath enough To request a second chance. And it feels like we're all in freefall, But some are unaware of it. It's clear to those of us who recall The innocence of better days. It's all decaying. Praises traded for coarse words. Prudence bartered for the quickest thrill. You're sliding down the cliffs we gladly scaled till now Toward the bottom of this hill.
5.
Oh, send beauty to steal these eyes away. Your majesty through cracks above shoots 'cross the sky in rays. Your painter's palette drowned in shades of gray, You beg me not to look the other way. If I could just escape the world's race, I'd stand and stare forever at Your face. Take worry and put splendor in its place. Sometimes I wanna get away, Sit on a private hill and gaze at the day. Spring-colored countryside 'neath clouds of gray, This beautiful retreat He's made. Sometimes I wanna get away, Drive through the streets of town and gaze at the day. I'd like to see this city bathed in rain. Wash clean this tattered soul again.
6.
Fata Morgana 04:31
No man is a mountain, but no one seems to know. And through the Strait of Messina, whole cities seem to grow. Hot air can change a lot of things when used a certain way. Composure covers everything, even on the worst day. It cannot be said that we are self-made, 'Cause I stay waist-deep in this mud although I dig. We all blame our actions on our faulty genes. Psychology would make us slaves to nature, though we're free. Why do I keep feigning independence, When I know good life is not something I can build? I could try to paint my own existence, But I'd just be left with all the paint I spilled. Lord, take this pride. Invoke new life.
7.
Why am I picking at an open sore, Blissfully oblivious as it's infected more? This homemade ointment just won't do; no, not anymore. Still I hear You calling out, "I know the cure!" Break me before I break myself, I'm begging. I can't trust these eyes. I denounced this years ago, I know, But I'm still quitting. You say, "Step outside and look up. How could your problems be greater than Me? Here is the cure for your ailment And the vaccine against all disease." I stand and Your beauty surrounds me. I watch the trees that are shedding their leaves. And I am one of them also, Shaking my branches, I'm rid of these things. Break me before I break myself, I'm begging. I can't trust these eyes. I denounced this years ago, I know. It's finally leaving.
8.
Wait for it. It's on its way. Inspiration is fleeting. I've gone in every direction, Penned words at every intersection. This road is leading me nowhere. There's no civilization in sight. I'll fight this forever. How have I done this in the past Without a map to look at? Seems that I've run out of fuel. It's taken all I had to get me here. Just be still. It's all inside, And wandering is useless. I needn't ask for directions, Because it comes from introspection. Just a spark of inspiration To save me from my lack of energy. I'll fight this forever.

about

Before we were Scales of Motion, we were called At All Costs (from 2001 to 2003). We recorded four albums under that name, but this is the one I'm sure local people remember the most. It was the only album we recorded in a studio (with the great Hank Charles at Valcour Sound), and it represents the height of our songwriting and musical abilities under that incarnation of the band. At All Costs started as a fairly straightforward new-school/pop-punk band and gradually morphed into this, which is still clearly rooted in pop-punk but was also heavily influenced by all of the melodic hardcore bands in our scene and by our growing interest in indie rock. A year later, we took a sharp turn in a different musical direction and changed our name to Scales of Motion, but I still cherish the songs on this album. - Chris

credits

released May 23, 2003

Kevin Skillern - Guitar, keyboard, BGVs
Craig Maricle - Drums, BGVs
Chris Skillern - Bass, lead vocals

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