"the Rat King" [2014]

by Elijah Should

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    Includes handwritten lyrics by Elijah Should himself

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1.
2.
03:24
3.
07:33
4.
03:23
5.
05:13
6.
7.
03:35
8.
9.
04:40
10.
11.
12.
01:55

about

"The 'proper' follow-up to 2010's Songs About Girls, 'the Rat King' finds Elijah Should exploring new themes of alienation, gentrification, homosexuality, hipsters, rent-hikes, drunks, freemasons and hard-core drug use. That is not to say the album suffers from clinical depression or a clouded vision.

"The Church of Good Intentions" is just that, with a refrain of "welcome!" it's a splendid start to a splendid album, until you realize "the church" is really just a bar on the cusp of Chinatown and NY's Lower East Side.

The title track also serves as a surprising centerpiece that features Natalia McCarty (aka the Virgin Whore) on lead vocals. While the song is clearly an angry ode to a cheating boyfriend, the music is sunny and guitar-driven (which is perplexing on a synth-dominated album as such) and reminds me of (dare I say it?) Zwan.

"500 Roses" paints the scene of a sex party in a high-rise on the Upper West Side as if viewed by Stephin Merritt and "Desolation Rowboat" depicts a (seemingly unprovoked) attack with an oar. When Elijah sings "I'm a session player, that's all I know" one must ponder if he is referring to music sessions in a studio or sexual sessions involving crystal meth and handballing... or perhaps something even darker?

the album closes with a punk song that is partly screamed entitled "Halfway Home". In it, Mr. Should laments about working in the kitchen of a halfway house and raising mutts that grow so large he must murder people to supply his dogs with bones to gnaw on.

It's partly "Little Shop of Horrors" and part John Waters. Much like the rest of the album. Which I do believe is the strongest of the trio." B+
- Sweaty Vedder, July 23rd 2014

"Who the fuck is Elijah Should!?" F-
- Piss Cornell

"Piss Cornell was so blown away by Elijah Should's new record, that he told all of his friends about it. Shirt Cobain, Silly Corgan, and Pain Staley." A+
- Logan Hill

"That's not entirely true."
- Piss Cornell

credits

released July 23, 2014

All songs written/performed by Elijah Should
words and music for track 2 by E. Haines/J. Scott-Key/J. Shaw/J.Winstead
4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 written by L.Hill/J.Sharp
track 7: words: n.mccarty / music: L.Hill/E.Should

Additional vocals on 1 + 7 by Natalia McCarty
Yamaha, keys and synths on all songs by E.S.
Guitar on 1, 6, 7 and bass on 2, 3, 4, 12 by Jay Sharp
live drums on 4, 6, 8, 10 - 12 by Logan Hill
Bass on 6 by E.S.
Guitar on 4 by Poindexter Twinklebottom
Violin on 11 by E.Claptop
and erhu on 10 - 12
tibetan bell on 5 by Puke Numbskull

Produced by Jay Sharp at the Doghouse for Elijah Should in Brooklyn, New York
with additional engineering by Ethan Michael O'Daniel and Logan Hill in Paducah, KY
Mixed by E.S. except for 1-5 mixed by J.Sharp
Mastered by

Poindexter Twinklebottom appears courtesy of Skip-Stop Records

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Track Name: the Church of Good Intentions
Welcome! Welcome!
Welcome to the Church
of Good Intentions we hope
that you will stick around and not
mention You-Know-Who.

Welcome to the Church of Good Intentions
where you don't have to keep moving like a shark
and judging all around you to your
impossibly high standards.

We go for smokes, continually bumming jokes 'n
Rachel's is never that far when you live in Brooklyn:
Where I was born
and where I will die
but not at all where I belong
You always get me cleaned up
when i'm rusty and damp
(here in Brooklyn)
the sky is yellow and i'm hungry
green and hazy and now i'm lonely
(lonely)
now i'm lovely
now i'm lucky
now i'm lovely

Welcome to the Church of Good intentions
notice here to my left
he's the Henchman!
"Hey kids, ya like scotch ? Are ya
scared of grey hair on a ball sack?"
Tonight we're playing trivia,
the more ya drink the more ya get sillier!

Here's some advice:
women in leopard prints not to be trusted
the upstairs wi-fi password is "Clint" and
the one downstairs is "Eastwood"
Actually now I think that Fontanas changed it to "Elvis"
yeah, i'm pretty sure that's right
they changed the upstairs back to "Elvis"
it's no longer Clint the password for the wi-fi
is now "Elvis" yea, at Fontanas (Fontanas)
Elvis : Fontanas (Fontanas)
Clint Eastwood : Fontanas (Fontanas)
Welcome. Welcome: Good Intentions
Track Name: Lost Kitten
Don't say yes if you can't say no,
Victim of the system, say it isn't so
Squatted on the doorstep, swollen on the blow
Leaving without you, can't say no
Halfway starts with happiness for me
Halfway house, lost kitten in the street
Hit me where it hurts, I'm coming home to lose
Kitten on the catwalk, high-heeled shoes
No more hot-headed Saturdays
They got it, they want it, they give it away
Tell me one thing you would never do
I was looking for a hooker when I found you

You've got my eyes, you've got my eyes
You'll never be mine, ah, but you've got my eyes
When you lie, I cover it up
When you hide, I cover it up
When you cry, I cover it up
When you come undone, I cover it up
Woo!
So pent up, I was coming home to you
Happy in the nighttime, howlin' at the moon
Sippin' on a cocktail, drinking in the loo
There's something about you I hold on to

You've got my eyes, you've got my eyes
You'll never be mine, ah, but you've got my eyes
When you lie, I cover it up
When you hide, I cover it up
When you cry, I cover it up
When you're blind, I cover it up!
When you lie, I cover it up!
When you hide, I cover it up!
When you cry, I cover it up!
When you come undone, I cover it up!

(Yeah, Elijah Should twenty-thirteen, uugh)

They got it, they want it, they give it away
They got it, they want it, they give it away
They got it, they want it, they give it away
They got it, they want it, they give it away
(When you lie, I cover it up)
They got it, they want it, they give it away
(When you hide, I cover it up)
They got it, they want it, they give it away
(When you cry, I cover it up)
They got it, they want it, they give it away
(When you come undone, I cover it up)
They got it, they want it, they give it away
Track Name: 2VIP4me
you're just too VIP for me
you're just too VIP for me
you're just too VIP for me
too VIP for me
i can be your plus 1/2
it's like a plus one without all the commitments
i can be your plus 1/2
it's like a plus one without the commitments
you're just too VIP for me
you're just too VIP for me
Track Name: Barren
I, I, I know, you know, we're still around
I know, how you still feel let down
you know, you know how we all wear frowns
every time we are all around

you know, you know i'm still right here
Track Name: Halfway Home
I was working in the kitchen of a halfway house
a halfway home