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about

This album consists of various pre-production recordings done after the release of Surgery in 1991, primarily 91-93. Life crowded in and prevented the recording and release of these songs. We offer them to you as aBSenCe of cERaMicS unreleased 5th album.

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released February 9, 2016

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aBSenCe of cERaMicS Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Constant
I'm eluded by perfection, frustrated by mistakes
I have made some wrong selections
and I've caused some hearts to break
I've been on the path to glory and on the highway to despair
It's a faith so transitory that sometimes it's hard to care

But Love is always constant
Love is always there
Love restores my tortured soul
Transforming my despair
Love returns a favour
Forgets about the past
Reminds me where the power is
Real love will always last

This reality discarded by the way I wear my hair
Immortality retarded by the lack of proper care
If you lead this horse to water
Please don't shoot him at the trough
As my relationships get harder
It feels like I can't get enough

Yes these times they are a changin’
As one old poet wisely said
The forest is much thicker than the trees
Seems the war my heart’s been wagin’
Has overlooked the only cure
That’s ever helped to overcome disease!
Track Name: Only Death
Turn the pages of your life
Try to make me understand
Why you choose to satisfy
Everything your flesh demands

Don’t you know that there is only death
In that game you always play
And where will you be when your heart explodes?
Are you ready for that day?

Will the poison of your past
Always make you hit and run?
Do you want this change to last?
Are you searching for the Son?

Don’t you know that there’s a better way?
That you can change this losing streak?
Don’t you know that He has strength to help
When your heart is tired and weak?

Bring your tired and battered heart
And let me heal it with a touch
Bring your burned out shattered mind
And let me show you just how much I care.
Track Name: Yogurt Gone Bad
She was a girl that you could die for
And he very nearly had
She led his needy heart along through all the good and bad
But when it came to blows she had a couple up his sleeve
She showered him with curses and left him alone to grieve

What can you say when you know you've been had?
And how do you know when Yogurt's gone bad?

He was a man of many facets and most of them were wrong
But you would never know it from the way he led us on
Until one day the men in blue were knocking on his door
The truth came out of hiding and was trampled on the floor

You think you know the people you know
But they may surprise you someday!
Lies are part truth when you boil 'em down
Don't always believe what they say!

Because they knew your weakness you were led astray again
Your life is now a shadow of the man that might have been
That doesn't mean you're finished - no it doesn't mean you're through
Turn ythat corner once again and find the One that's true!
Track Name: Couldn't Do
Turning a cheek to the cold, cold world
She was running for weeks - and unwanted girl
What she saw was unpleasant, what she tasted was worse
She's an unwanted presence in a world that is cursed

Wherever she went it was always the same
Everyone seemed to be playing the game
Nothing for she to be doing but change
But that was the very thing
She couldn't do

Turning his back on the world that he knew
Acknowledging lack it was long overdue
His past was a mystery his present a mess
There were things in his hist'ry he found hard to confess

Wherever he went it was always the same
Everyone seemed to be playing the game
Nothing for he to be doing but change
But that was the very thing -
He couldn't!

IN this life you'll find suffering
In this life there is pain
In this life we all go around
Until it comes 'round again...

Blasting our way through this unfriendly age
Fighting our jealousy hatred and rage
Can love be the answer if our love bears no pain?
To lose what's not ours just to keep what we gain

Wherever we go seems it's always the same
Everyone seems to be playing the game
No other choice but surrender to change
But that is the very thing
We cannot do!
Track Name: Nothin', Nobody, Nowhere
Nothing, I am nothing – are you nothing too?
Sometimes that’s a good thing,
somehow we know it’s true
Nothing, I am nothing with an ego full of sin
So please, somebody, touch me, my hope is growing thin

Here I am, I am empty, I am helpless, I am lost;
I don’t know what the truth is
I don’t know how much it cost,
Here I am, I am lonely, here’s my pain, here’s my heart
I can’t find the strength to start!

Lonely, I have nothing, can you fill my heart?
I don’t know where to find You, I don’t want to be apart
Helpless I am no one, with nowhere to lay my head
Despair has formed my nightmares
And my days are filled with dread.

But deep inside my broken heart
I know that there’s a place
Where constant hope is still alive –
Where dwells a quiet grace;
And I think I can touch it,
Though my fearful heart says no
My reaching out becomes a cry
Once that hope begins to grow!
Track Name: Decay
It really isn't something that I understand
Is it active rebellion or just sleight of hand
I would poke out my eyes if I thought it might clear
This terrible stain on my heart

My eyes scan the depths of a prostitute world
Through the death and decay in search of a pearl
But my mind played a trick on my destitute soul
Please help me it's out of control

And please, oh please, don't turn me away
Don't let my poor spirit slip into decay
Deliver me, O Father, from this deadly sin
And restore me to peace deep within

How vague can I be? Can I keep people guessing?
Or is it written all over my urgent expression
I can't deal with the thought that some people might see
The evil that's been haunting me
Track Name: Reckoning
The tears in my eyes are for you;
Can this love see us through all these times of despair?
The pain that I feel in my soul
Either can make me whole or can make me not care.

But it's not the pain that makes or breaks
It's how it's reckoned with

I could turn on you with all the blame
And make you feel the same just to appease my pride
I could beg you for mercy or grace
Or I could fall on my face and appeal to my guide

Somehow I just want to make things all right
I want to give in to you - give up my fight
See that the pain is put behind
To turn from the wrong and be made right
Track Name: Simplify My Soul
Why do you simplify my soul?
I'm much more complex than I may seem.
Or is it just a bit insane - this dead cliché, this dry routine?
And why do you simplify my soul?
I'm passive now, but I may wake
And feed again the binding fear
that surfaces with each mistake

Take me as I seem to be and try not to ask why
'Cause what I am is killing me
I certainly don't want to die this way
But I get closer to it every day

Precocious in my faith - it seems
That I know so little, fear so much
that all my intellect seems dead
compared to those your death has touched.
And when I lay me down to sleep
and I pray for that keeping I can't expect
A miracle occurs within
that chaos of my profound neglect

Chaos, chaos, lovely chaos
Complicate simplicity
Burning bridges light my passage
to a dark eternity...
Track Name: If I had my Way
I'm concerned about my lying but I'm frightened by the truth
I'm afraid of getting older but I can't retain my youth
And it seems that life just rolls right on
resisting my attempts to gain control
Believe me if I had my way I wouldn't pay this toll

If I had my way I wouldn't play these foolish games
And if I had my way I would have danced within these flames
But when it comes down to the punch line
And the crowd begins to scream
The refection in the mirror is a nightmare not a dream
and the fear I thought was refuge becomes refuse in my arms
If I had my way I would have come to much more harm

As I pursue my wandering through these chaotic times
The question of my sanity is always on my mind
Could there a reason for my doubt
or is this longing more than I can bear?
Know that if I had my way I wouldn't make me share!

Come to me when you labour
Turn to me when you thirst
Look my way
when it seems that it could not get worse
I'll be there when you're crying
right beside to dry your tears
I will be the friend and lover
you've been seeking out for years

If You can turn me from the self-destructive path I choose
If You can give me shelter then I've nothing left to lose
If You know what I'm needing when I desperately call out for a friend
If I had my way I'd do it Your way in the end!
Track Name: Closer to Me
Control is a factor I've tried to avoid
Trust is a way to be free
Moving away from what men have destroyed
I come ever closer to me

And the truth is ever before my eyes
giving away my disguise

Drawing so close to the center of all
Pulling back just to start again
While shards of a heart broken by man's great fall
Return to the scene of my sin

Redeemed by a lie I am not redeemed
Believing the cry of a "good" world that seemed
To be drawing me into the center of grace
Until truth slapped me right in my face

Burn, liar, burn and illumine my path
The death in your gaze I can see
As I move away from the hell of God's wrath
I come ever closer to me
Track Name: Lesson to my Soul
The anger in your eyes is hard to take
Just one look at you and my heart begins to break
You should be more careful 'bout the comments that you make
The anger in your eyes is hard to take

The spiteful way you speak is wounding me
Know that what you say can bind me up or make me free
My heart is more too fragile for this incongruity
The spiteful way you speak is wounding me

Teach me how to love
Teach me how to hate
Teach me how to find a way
to smash this bloody slate!
Everything you do has been
a lesson to my soul
Can you help me find a way
to have some self-control?

The hateful things you do are killing me
You left my battered heart a-hangin' from the tallest tree
And gave me up for lost amid my grief and misery
The hateful things you do are killing me...
Track Name: Chalk
What do you say when there's nothing left
to say anymore than there was before?
Clean breaks are the way to deal with and heal
The deadly disease of the way things are

Chalk it up, chalk it up
chalk it up, man!
Experience - the teacher that foils your plans
Bring me your naked and I'll burn their house down
If you knew why heart was exposed
would you buy me a new suit of clothes?

Where you go when you can't find you way
to the start of the game that began at birth
It's appealing to feel that you seem to be real
But the truth is that you're just a shadow of you

Bring a snapshot you imagine is you
I'll smear it with blood and then say that we're through
O my love, do you know what I have done to my Self?
Through the door, down the hall, last door on the left
Is Hell.