Love's The Only Engine Of Survival

by Bat Country

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about

Founded in 2006 by vocalist Melissa Cerise-Bullock and guitarist Mikey Sellars, Bat Country grew to become Seattle's one and only licensed purveyors of undiluted, 100-proof Doom-Americana, a unique blend of raw, yet hook-laden noir-country and neo-cabaret heavily influenced by the creeping existential dread and pretty, pretty melodies of Tom Waits, Neko Case, Nick Cave, and Leonard Cohen.
 
After losing their bass player, “Meshugunah Joe” Albanese, in the May 2012 shootings at Seattle’s Café Racer, the band made the decision to cease performing live, and directed their energies towards the completion of an album based around tracks they had recorded with Joe before his death.
 
On June 15, 2013, they released “Love’s The Only Engine Of Survival” - a eulogy to the memory of their friend, and to their time together as a band, celebrating its release in one final live performance at Columbia City Theater in Seattle.

credits

released June 15, 2013

CREDITS

BAT COUNTRY IS
Melissa Cerise-Bullock – Vocals, Accordion
Bill Cerise-Bullock – Vocals, Guitar
Michael Sellars – Guitar, Vocals
Jill Zirkle – Vocals, Piano, Percussion
Joseph Vito Albanese – Upright Bass
Adam Garnich – Percussion, Vocals
Count Constantin – Violin
Dan Kaplan – Saxophone, Clarinet
Jack Chandelier – Drums

Backing Vocals by Aaron Shay, Janine Pierce, Emma Berghammer, Devin Carlen, Jeff McNulty, Molly Brashear, Ross Brashear, Ryan Devlin, Kim West, Colin Butler, Erin Butler, Felix Butler, and Bat Country

Recorded between April 2011 and December 2012 at Chophouse Rehearsal Space, The Vera Project, Killroom Studios and Joe’s Basement

Recorded and Engineered by Jeff McNulty, Jack Chandelier, and Greg Williamson

Accordion Tracks recorded by Scott Johnson, April 2009

Produced by Jeff McNulty, Bill Cerise-Bullock and Bat Country
Mastered by Dalton Brand at WaveBurner Recording

Art and Photo Credits
Cover Painting by Angie Lazzar (www.angielazzar.com)
Frame Artwork and Title Lettering by Sarah McFarland
Booklet Cover Artwork by Jon Larson
Rear album cover and memorial photo: Kook Teflon (kookteflon.blogspot.com)
CD tray photography: Daniel McManus (www.daniel-mcmanus.com)
Tray photo manipulation: Ron Reed
Additional photography by JessyLou D'Aprile, Danny Benenovitch, Jessica Laird, Mike Stanclift, and John Wilmot
Album Layout by Jack Chandelier and Bill Cerise-Bullock

Follow online at facebook.com/batcountryusa

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Bat Country Seattle, Washington

Seattle's one and only licensed purveyors of genuine, undiluted, 100-proof Doom-Americana, Bat Country creates a unique, raw, yet hook-laden brand of noir heavily influenced by Tom Waits, Neko Case and Leonard Cohen. They are currently waiting outside your window with rusty shovels to bury you in the creeping existential dread of their pretty melodies. This is all ye know and all ye need know. ... more

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Track Name: Knockin' On My Coffin
KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN
Lyrics by Bill Cerise-Bullock, Melissa Cerise-Bullock, Jill Zirkle, and Michael Sellars

VERSE 1
I was a pious man, thought I'd go to heaven when I reached my end
Oh! The jokes on me! I'm just laying here moldering!
If I had known my reward, I'd have been a sinner just to spite the Lord
I'd-a fucked and smoked and dranked everything that moved
'Cause I sure ain't movin' now so what the hell's the use?

CHORUS
But who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
Boy you ain't gon' find no heaven here you best keep on a-walkin'
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
No need to knock on wood
You don't know how good you've got it

VERSE 2
Our sins were of the flesh, come inside and we'll test all your seams for stress
Mending socks for each jack screw, scraping out a living under Madam Lou
But now the flesh falls away, God don't appreciate joy for pay
If we'd traded our lust for purity, we wouldn't be rotting for eternity

CHORUS
But who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
Girl don't be in such a hurry to get down among the rotten
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
No need to knock on wood
You don't know how good you've got it

BRIDGE
Where did everybody go? How'd it ever get so cold?
Someone let some light into this cell
So it all ends up the same, chasing death or dragged away
You'll decay in heaven or in hell

VERSE 3
Before my time in the grave, seemed like I was losing something every day
A little bit of cash, a little bit of time, a great big chunk of my fragile mind
Now I finally rest in peace, flowers bloom above me and the worms will feast
You can keep your heaven, you can keep your hell,
'Cause you don't keep nothing in a dirt hotel

CHORUS
But who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
I can hear the invitation, but I'd rather be forgotten
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
No need to knock on wood
You don't know how good you've got it
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
Though it's quite a lovely evening, I cannot come out a-walkin'
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
No need to knock on wood

OUTRO
Na na na na na, na na na na na na na!
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
Boy you ain't gon' find no heaven here you best keep on a-walkin'
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
Girl don't be in such a hurry to get down among the rotten
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
I can hear the invitation, but I'd rather be forgotten
Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?
I should warn you my appearance now is frankly fucking shockin'
[Who's that KNOCKIN' ON MY COFFIN!?!?!?
Boy you ain't gon' find no heaven here you best keep on a-walkin' (repeat x4)]
No need to knock on wood
You don't know how good you got it
Track Name: All Over Again
ALL OVER AGAIN
Lyrics by Melissa Cerise-Bullock

VERSE 1
Meet me at the edge of the lazy sloping hill
We’re fashionably late and we’re always dressed to kill
Take my hand, the clock has cycled ‘round, it’s time my friend
Close your eyes and hold your breath, the gun will tell you when
It’s time to drop to our despair all over again.


CHORUS
‘Round and round we go, it starts to get too much
‘Til you’re feeling like you’re pushed to the limit
Keeping still until it freezes, light the fire and fall to pieces
‘Til it starts all over again (x2)


VERSE 2
We know so well the carpet of our intimate soiree
Is the loam of countless naked apes who never got away
From the reoccurring tragedy that is Love’s comedy
It’s tempting, but I’d rather not say it was meant to be
Please say I’m not alone, I hope you’ll agree.

(CHORUS)


VERSE 3
A drink for you and one for me, no more can we afford
To prance around the infirm crux of that which we once adored
Locked eye to eye, it’s fight or flight, our tango overspun
But if we stand together we can draw down the sun (x4)
Track Name: The Black Freighter
THE BLACK FREIGHTER
Lyrics by Bill Cerise-Bullock

VERSE 1
Tied to the mast, marked with the blade
All of the lives that you thought you could save
Will sing from the depths that it all ends the same nonetheless

Dig up the corpses of lovers and friends
Lash them together to chase your revenge
And strike at the sea with the bones of the one you loved best


CHORUS
Bourne upon a tide of blood, we struggle towards the shore
We leave the sea to crawl upon all fours
So tie the noose around your neck, it fits you like a glove
There's a million crimes aboard this ship
And the worst were done for love


VERSE 2
So draw the blade that can never be sheathed
Once your beloved, now just the bereaved
But you prop up the bodies and brush off your sleeves without guilt

Spend your whole life on perfecting the prize
But late in the night you can still hear the cries
Of the corpses amongst the foundations of all that you've built


CHORUS
Bourne upon a tide of blood, we struggle towards the shore
We leave the sea to crawl upon all fours
So tie the noose around your neck, it fits you like a glove
There's a million crimes aboard this ship
And the worst were done for love


BRIDGE
You have been touched by the horror, and now
There is no depth of the damned that could sate your appetite
Out past the breakers they're waiting, you hear them wail in the night;
"CLIMB ABOARD THE BLACK FREIGHTER!!!" (x3)
CLIMB ABOARD!!!


OUTRO CHORUS
Born upon a sea of blood, we never reach the shore
Our best intentions crawl upon all fours
So catch the noose that's tossed to you and join the crew above
There's a million crimes aboard this ship,
But the worst were done for love
Done for love!
All for love!
All for love!
ALL ABOARD THE BLACK FREIGHTER!!!
ALL ABOARD THE BLACK FREIGHTER!!!
CLIMB ABOARD THE BLACK FREIGHTER!!!
CLIMB ABOARD!!!
Track Name: God Had Better Watch His Back
God Had Better Watch His Back
Lyrics by Bill Cerise-Bullock

VERSE 1
You're slow to learn and fast asleep
You're hanging high and elbow deep
In blood that's turning black
Well, God had better watch his back

VERSE 2
You set the stage and set the type
You turn the page and burn it like
Some half-wit, half-rate hack
Now God had better watch his back

BRIDGE
You should be afraid to dream,
It's there we'll come for you
We'll drag you down and strap you in
And there'll be nothing you can do
And everything
You've cut away
Will be repaid! (x5)

VERSE 3
You need an end, we shall provide
Your sins await just past the white
We know it's all abstract
But God had better watch his back
Track Name: Strictly Speaking
Well that's some very fine stitching around your lips
I haven't seen work like that for a while
I would venture a guess that you've had it since you were a child
It gets so hard to keep a civil tongue
Now they're coming around with the knives
You'll be guaranteed someone to watch your mouth
And make sure that you're dressed to the nines

CHORUS
Strictly speaking, there's no saying how deeply you'll be shocked
No retreating, we've got ways to make you talk
Strictly speaking, there's no telling how far we'll run amok
When you're weeping, we've got ways to shut you up

VERSE 2
So your loosening lips sunk your censorship
Now you've got some explaining to do
Well we asked for disaster, you gave us a fine overview
If you can't think of anything nice to say,
You're in very good company
But you'll just have to learn how bite your lip
‘Til it falls in the dirt at your feet.

[CHORUS]

BRIDGE
And all those ugly thoughts just thrash inside your head
So if you're stuttering, try singing it instead
Because we all know paper burns
and every language that you've learned is dead
And they can hang on every word
and still not hear a single thing that you have said

VERSE 3
Now that's a very sharp needle you're brandishing
But I'll try to maintain my resolve
And take pains to keep slicing these words so precisely
Until they mean nothing at all
[CHORUS]
Track Name: Show Me Your Chiclets
VERSE 1
The curtain won’t be drawing back, the klieg lights wait to pop and crack
The followspot will hold you locked in place
Showgoers are all aglow, you’ve been undraped, it’s time to go!
Look alive! And bare your pretty face!

Bump and strut across the stage, a clockwork dove in a pewter cage
It’s all part of the show, you understand
Step and thrust and point your toes, into the chest your modesty goes
Tête à tête with your patron’s broad waistband


VERSE 2
Downstage right is the mama’s boy, downstage left, the mayor’s toy
Front and center, a desperately lonely Jack
Pose engaged, eyes trained aloft, never let their gaze go soft
You’re the seasonal medicinal aphrodisiac!

Sweat and stardust on our brows, beholden to the cosmic boughs
We’re singin’ in the streets and it’s okay
Whiskey, smoke and PBR, someday I’m gonna be a star
Unapologetic passion lights the way


VERSE 3
The act is over, it’s been a pleasure, accolades sustain you beyond measure
Don’t know what you’d do if it weren’t this
Fan your dollar store lashes, incandesce that smile
Ensure the good people found the time worthwhile
Cast your cloud of glitter, go out with a kiss.
Track Name: Epilogue: All Hail Horror!
LYRICS

Come on take a slide down the spiral
Gonna get yourself right ‘round the bend
Of the plague that prevails, you’ll find history impaled
On that sharp little hook at the end

Soon there’s even babies being born with it
Eyes fish-white and blind to the sun
With sharp, twisted teeth made to spread the disease
Come and see where your monsters come from

Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!
Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!

Howard’s daddy died screaming
Ate alive by invisible beasts
And mother’s quick to attest that what’s under his flesh
Is just waiting to bloom with disease

Now Howard looks out on still waters
And feels fathoms beginning to stir
We’re the heirs of what’s under the surface
Just a plague to be wiped from the earth

Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!
Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!
Dredge it up from your veins, dredge it up from your core
Dredge it up from the drains in the slaughterhouse floor
Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!

Now we stand on the dry land of logic
We've dissected and pulled back the skin
But what’s at the heart bares twisted fangs and declares
“All Hail Horror, and bring on the end!"

Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!
Dredge it up, dredge it up, from the bottom!
Dredge it up from your veins, dredge it up from your core
Dredge it up from the drains in the slaughterhouse floor

Drag it out of the depths of your terror and shame
Make it into a monster that you can contain
And if it helps you believe you can hold off the dark
With a shot to the head or a stake through the heart
Dredge it up! Dredge it up! From the bottom!