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by Shrug Life

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Writers block and common cold A pointless fear of becoming old With silver strands and stained piano key teeth And the niggling presence of adolescent football injuries Buying crap coffee with our names spelt wrong It's the invigorating taste of tax evasion on our tongue Too busy chasing targets, to change the way that we're built Wearing cheap synthetic fibres with unspoken western guilt First world problems, first world problems Aimless and passive we have no patience to ever solve them Decisions in homeware have undue significance Still suckered by ads that undermine our intelligence Afraid of the future with false dreams of the past It's the invented obstacles we cannot surpass In conflict with colleagues on teamwork retreats Emotionally distant from friends we barely meet Hating our neighbours for the youth in their eyes And their EDM abandon on Wednesday nights First world problems, first world problems Aimless and passive we have no patience to ever solve them Curse the lost lotto tickets, overcharged and underwhelmed Turn your wants into needs, a bored version of hell Still wishing with eyelash, lighting church candles As close to any action as we can handle.
Temp Job 04:02
Drifting alone, drone on the phone The call centre feels more familiar than your home It was a temp job out of necessity Promised yourself "it won't get the best of me", but days repeat with reheat dinners feel your hopes and hair grow thinner don't recognise the wreck in the mirror, as you realise there's only one way to be a winner Connive to survive, you gotta cheat if you wanna eat tonight Connive to survive, you gotta be sincere in selling the lie Get in the zone of effortless call flow Leave your moral judgement well at home The customers call to complain Your wage is determined by feeling their pain And then talking about the contract clause and turning them round to our noble cause Unparalleled pro, your name well known The boss they've never seen go home Mussolini of telemarketing It's always the weakest enemy your targeting Inexplicable mix of balding bravado Helps you to hide the part you'll never show The part they'll never know Connive to survive, you gotta cheat if you wanna eat tonight Connive to survive, you gotta be sincere in selling the lie You can't divide your life from your lie.
Schmaltz 03:36
I live for moments three weeks in that can't contain our crack-toothed grins The joy of rants and joint tirades, forgotten songs from mixtape trades Trying again to be more than friends More than distant inspiration or phone calls after 2 a.m, we're trying again, a little more each weekend Going gigs and letting guard down Gently chipping inhibitions away On dull damp weekday mornings float to work on each other's stories A new pace to our pulse, sleep-deprived, invincible. A tired theme, but such fresh desire. A tired theme, but such fresh desire. Now we're sharing the same mess of clothes and books and bed sheets, family stress and secrets Trying again not to give up when our newness starts to fade or struggle with the outside world and its demands Torrential Tuesday evenings entertained inside the feeling we're speaking our own language and there's something new to say On Sunday's we can stay within utensil shapes and record spin Tell each other everything like we're desert island discs or something Wonder at our grey hair, embrace the coming schmaltz.
Promised a great leap forwards led on a long limp backwards Another regime of blindfold reform Expected as ever to grin and bear it, as we measure the cost of brushing our teeth, interning 'til our pockets bleed paying penance for the guarantee "we're in this together, we're making progress!" Europe's impressed. A model for the rest The country built on brown envelopes golden handshakes and blue-blooded hopes has never changed It's the same divide with a different name. No patriotic platitudes will pay the bills this month No sound-bite speeches stop us facing the brunt of any price-hike, cut back, passed down debt the subtle condescension, or the loose-veiled threat. The country built on cabinet strokes Top tier tax breaks, struggling to cope In time again, they'll litter the lampposts Plastic heads, with hollow pledge.
Your Body 03:19
Your body is not your body It's the property of church and state In room five, said goodbye On foreign soil, a final cry before boarding the Ryanair home So goes the last of the student loan Sat next to the set from the hen weekend Buying scratch cards from the flight attendant With excess patience, making small talk Hopping every hurdle Leinster House has raised in her honour "Yeah, I had a real nice holiday, thanks for asking" Ill-equipped, with unnamed burden options blocked for paths unplanned At age 19, made to understand Advice goes no further than the law will allow it and you're on your own if you need a way around it And if they stepped inside her skin Forced to forfeit their decision would the party line apply would they see it as some feminist failure to budget trek to Liverpool and never talk about it later.
Aphra Lee 03:16
Meeting Aphra Lee this morning on a rare visit from Derry to Dublin to experience the present moment the fleeting glimpse of Irish summer We sit in Iveagh Gardens, disconnect from obligations revel at the kinship and forget our limitations for a while Meeting Aphra Lee this morning with a bus to catch this evening it's another old friend's birthday it's another promised greeting To prolong the jilted journey we loop around the station avoiding any obvious, uncomfortable conversation A hug becomes a hold, lets the lightning strike our centre Attuned to the same frequency if not the same adventure One day we might get back to this unfinished story quietly missed soured by its circumstance awaiting resolution. No dancing 'round the notion scared of our devotion worried it won't go away until we give we it answer.
Old Cliches 03:59
Indulging old clichés of absence Inevitable given the distance The pace of your departure The things we didn't say In the cold, bright, immediate months since Memories taking up residence In listed spots across the town Landmarks my mind can't tear down Have to face the change, constant and mundane Smother questions left unanswered give up fighting yourself there's nothing to gain from this, it doesn't help wasted thoughts, old clichés, mental ping-pong each day all that remains here since you went Still stuck on old clichés of absence More masochistic nonsense I summon the strength to feel something now the train's pulled out of the station now the situation's beyond me I can lament the hesitation Have to face the change, limited and strange Sick of all the blame fixed upon your name Muddle through Make new plans No more scripting altered endings for the past Leave a house in my head where you'll stay with all my other missing friends Old clichés will remain The ever earnest truth, it sounds so lame Muddle through Making new plans Embrace the possibilities we can.
Never Bored 02:58
Never bored, always distracted Supposed to care how you've reacted Endless opinions for itchy eyes The rigmarole of our surprise Life becomes a P.R trick An exercise in selling it Grow the brand, promote yourself Show the world you're doing well (doing so well) We're all adored, we're all fantastic Polaroid filters keep us attractive Compare potential partners, limit negative speech Photos from your last meal, updates on the beach Every spare second we can spend with our screens, and when we go to sleep we're cyber-stalking in our dreams Life becomes a P.R trick An exercise in selling it Grow the brand, promote yourself Show the world you're doing well (doing so well).
Skype Calls 04:23
Still making Skype calls with the shitty connection As siblings we are mirroring a mutual exhaustion We chew through new anxieties Questions only brothers consider Gathering thoughts when the picture freezes Where are we now and what do we matter at all? With ageing aspirations An expertise in failure Familial solidarity lets us soldier on Cathartic conversations Allow us to create A little path within mistakes Double-jobbing, spinning plates Still making Skype Calls still writing plays still swapping struggles in that bittersweet unfiltered way Searching for new definition beyond financial complication divorce and all its charred remains trying to find some worth again We speak with mixed up memories Dilute each other's doubts Blue sky in the jigsaw we haven't figured out We give our steadfast guarantees Precarious and proud Waiting for the next disaster we haven't figured out.
Freebird II 04:57
If I could see you back to your shadow boxing best no led behind the eyes, no stitch in your chest no knots in your stomach and no stuttering sentences If I could see you back to your shadow boxing best When you've reached enough distance from the double-talk in Dublin where new debts and deadlines determined the day and you're started to sleep through the night for a change Certain in your own time Learn to betray your design Returning to the sea does the boredom help your breathe? Safe enough now to live within your means, confront your unease where people love you. And the choice to stay or leave is yours alone y'start to find some strength in going home Certain in your own time Learn to betray your design
Rock and roll sure is swell It's the term they use to sell hair gel and jackets Redundant reissues in a bloated package And OAPs in tight leather trousers Bow down to the power of rock n' roll Get your tents and cans Sing along in the hope you'll understand Prove your faith by wearing worn out wrist bands It's a complex business... go ask your Dad Withering waxworks say: "She ain't what she used to be the kids don't know how to play" The kids are not concerned, they crave a keyboard stuck on rhumba beat with pyrotechnics a disinfected, new age, soulless warble or hip-hop karaoke, but no more rock and roll. And we all sing "woah, woah, woah" 'Cause that's the extent of it "woah, woah...", you get the jist sincere and stupid for crossover playlists. Another anthem in the making soon we'll be enormodome faking, we'll milk this nonsense for all it's worth pasteurised and ready for market rock and roll.




released February 6, 2018

Josh Donnelly hit drums.

Keith Broni plucks bass.

Danny Carroll plays voice and guitar.

He's also liable for the lyrics.

Maire Carr graciously sings on the song "Your Body".

Fiachra McCarthy politely provides a guitar line on this song as well.

Songs were engineered by Fiachra McCarthy and Mark Chester.

Songs were mixed and made palatable by Fiachra at HEFTTRAX Headquarters.

Songs were mastered by Richard Dowling somewhere in Limerick.

Artwork was patiently designed by Ruan Van Vliet.


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