The Cypher

by XETAS

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about

Why do people start bands anymore? To get rich and famous? Compliment re-tweeting? To gain the respect of their peers in the RIAA? I don’t know, and I don’t have a computer so I can’t look it up. But I bet sometimes bands get started with no goal at all, beyond basics like don’t lose the keys to the practice space, and to share the excitement of making music together. From there, the goals become things like, get better at it, and do it more. But, again, no computer here, so, don’t know 100%.

Xetas have been doing exactly that, making wired, joyfully intense music ever since their first 7” in 2014. Their first two albums, 'The Redeemer' and 'The Tower,' are compact, high-voltage, furniture-throwing gems. With 'The Cypher,' they emerge after a year of work as a one-minded beast. The songs blast off and burn, but carry a new depth and weight. Inside gusts of ferocious noise there are subtly sweet melodies that stick in your head; volume gets quiet, tempos charge, slow down, stutter, and implode. The sounds are of a deeper dimension, surprising glimpses of (what’s that?) and (huh wow!). It all creates a rich emotional dimension, which you feel even while the band is thrashing you around in its jaws like an alligator.

Instantly you notice the vocal arrangements. Everybody sings every song, whether dividing verses or in unison, in true crew fashion. It’s a moving statement of intent. Punk rock? To be sure, but punk can mean anything goes. David Petro’s guitars come in countless layers of tension, incorporating punk mowdown and bad trip psych, at times bringing to mind Pen Rollings, Tara Key, and Roger Miller. On “The Objector,” bassist Kana Harris’s voice effortlessly shifts emotional gears as she reflects on power and change, leaving you to meditate on the lyrics “no one here will remember the old landscape.”

Maybe it’s a concept record? Could be, if the concept is figuring out how to survive by being yourselves, how to get better and better every day at being a band, and leaving nothing on the court. Isn’t that a concept every band should have? Is that even a concept? Isn’t that reality? It’s like I have to look everything up these days. - James McNew

credits

released January 24, 2020

Xetas :
David Petro - guitar, vocals,
Kana Harris - bass, vocals

Jay Dilick - drums, vocals



‘The Cypher’ was recorded throughout 2019 at Estuary Recording, Austin and produced by John Michael Landon and Xetas.

Mastered by Matthew Barnhart, Chicago Mastering Service
Album artwork by Hollie Brown

C&P 2020 Xetas

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Track Name: The Doctor
The doctor is sick so sick
the blood runs down the sink
he says, "these days, we all must suffer"
The rabble, they writhe around
they don't know what to think
"we need details, details, details"

chorus-
an ounce of my blood and a pound of my flesh
why do you need more?
work our hands to the bone and what do we get?
what do we bleed for?

The doctor is sick so sick
the pills fall down the sink
she says, "these days, we all must suffer"
The rabble, they writhe around
they don't know what to think
"we need details, details, details!"

[chorus]

"I'm running out of patience (patients)"
Track Name: The Bystander
Ties that bind, they can unwind
Will it save this unraveling?
Learn how to fight, learn how to lose
Learn to accept what you can’t choose

Can’t walk a mile in your shoes
But i can walk that mile with you
Don’t know what it’s like but I can say
How we recall our darkest days
Won’t be the memory that stays

Is it all enough?
When you rip the chord
When you trust the fall
You see it’s cyclical
Track Name: The Hierophant
I awoke on a friday
Surrounded by voices
I can’t seem to recall
But I swear i heard it before
It’s always been there
Hidden in a warm glow of light

Do you ever feel like you’re still dreaming?
Ever spinning in space
But you’re just living
Everything is different
Yet somehow the same
Trapped in a circle
Of a sick cyclical hell

You gotta shake it off
Like the cobwebs in the back of your head
Or the dust off the good book that you never read
(Say something, say something)
It’s a shame how we all are made
Always wanting to fear
It’s a shame how what we say won’t matter to you

Welcome
Well come it surrounds in a cold embrace forever
Omni future, present, past
But what choice do you have?

You gotta shake it off
Like the cobwebs in the back of your head
Or the dust off the good book that you never read
(Say something, say something)
It’s a shame how we all are made
Always wanting to fear
It’s a shame how what we say won’t matter to you
Track Name: The Martyr
Crawl to your cross!
A mountain made of a molehill to die on
A new belief a new landmine to pile on
The devil you know and would kill for
You can't make mex3 believe it
The devil made me do it and I'm bound to keep his secrets
The devil you would die for

chorus-
The serpent's hissing but no one's listening
The world of thoughts and prey
Crawl to your cross!

Fall on your sword!
Our faith and mutual fate are assured
I turn my back on the rest of the world
The devil you know and would die for
You can't make mex3 believe it
The devil made me do it and I'm bound to keep his secrets
The devil you would kill for

[chorus]
The clock is ticking
But no one's listening

Do I hear trumpets? A galloping ruckus?
A pale rider coming?x2 A pale rider!
Crawl to your cross!
Track Name: The Witness
(instrumental)
Track Name: The Cypher
Pro choice
No Choice
Who's Voice
are you listening to today

Red Pill
Blue Pill
Hard pill to swallow
it's tough to say

bridge-
Are you gonna take it
Are you gonna take it
How long can you fake it
How long can you fake it
Are you gonna take it
Are you gonna take it

chorus-
Is this the nadir of all history
or a symptom of our times?
did we lose our minds in metaphors
where did we blur the lines
I am grateful for my anger
cuz it's hard to feel sometimes
but I feel fine

Fake News
Hard Proof
You choose
in whose truth do you believe

Scorched earth
Cursed Birth
Watching cities crushed by rising seas

[bridge]
[chorus]
Track Name: The Objector
How many times do I have to say it?
Let me explain again and again and again
Watching your eyes see my fate
And continue to do nothing
Watching your eyes see my pain
And continue to look away
A new thought occurs to me
Why do I care what you think?

I don’t need this
Your silence reads complicit
(there is no God if you resist us)
The world is cold when you want justice

Every time that i speak up
I put at risk all I’ve worked to earn
One step forward, two steps back
There’s always something to unlearn
You benefit, I’m cracking at the creases
You keep taking but you offer no replacements
I keep breaking myself into smaller, smaller pieces
I don’t need this

I don’t need this
Your silence reads complicit
(there is no god if you resist us)
The world is cold when you want justice

(why you gotta be so sensitive? Can’t you just accept that’s the way it is?)
NO

Have you ever watched the mountain range change?
Snowbanks turn to rivers and deepen in it’s face
With each rain, more washes away
And someday it will be a plain
And no one around will remember the old landscape
Track Name: The Xero
Rags to ribbons
then ground down
I am a crusader in bad faith
Protestation
drowned out
As if we give a fuck what you say

bridge
Turn left, right, left, right, left
There is no God to rescue thee
I am a bringer of death, I strike
With perfect anonymity
If this ship goes down, we all go down
So listen carefully
Keep Your eyes down, keep your head down
Keep your eyes down, keep your voice down

chorus-
Safe within the shadow
Trinity
The Cross, the Sword, the Bomb
Within the shadows
All these lives add up to
ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO

Armageddon
Rains down
I am a crusader in bad faith
Crucifixion
Nailed down
To a cross of lies and heresy (hearsay)

[bridge]
[chorus]
Track Name: The Teacher
To me this place was always a prison
I couldn't wait to see the outside
They said to raise our hands and be counted
They said they wouldn't leave us behind
But I was punished by my teacher for reading in between the lines

Be quiet here, your voice has no value
Be quiet here, you're wasting your time
and it was here I spent the best days
the best years of my life
They told us that work would mean salvation
They said we must suffer to survive
And I was punished by my teacher for reading in between the lines

chorus-
CLASS DISMISSED
When will you learn your lesson?
CLASS DISMISSED
Do you recall a time you weren't afraid?
CLASS DISMISSED
Do as you've been instructed
You don't have to feel it
DO AS YOU'VE BEEN TOLD
DO IT!

Today it's even more like a prison
There's guards lining up on all sides
They'd have us trade our books in for bullets
You're safer facing enemy lines
And I was punished by my teacher for reading in between the lines

[chorus]
Track Name: The Mariner
May the sea rise, wind at your back
Raise up your eyes, you can’t go back

chorus-
Hold the light till you feel it
Whatever gets you through
Hold the light that their shading palms
can never wrest from you
and there were times when you needed to switch off
I know it's true
Hold the light till you feel it
and let it shine for you

Keep your head high, you’re almost home
Lighthouse your guide, you’re not alone

[chorus]

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