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MMXX

by Sick Jokes

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1.
You had the devotion, you said all the names You drowned in the ocean, you burned in the flames You slipped on the question and fell on the floor You chewed up the answer and savored the gore Pinning you down to the earth That’s what your power was worth Slowing you down to a crawl Til you care about nothing, nothing at all You swallowed the pills and you embalmed the day The people around you, they all went away You poisoned your dreams and you choked on the bone The shadows of hope have all left you alone
2.
Take another trip for the kicks Looking for the loving of the lunatics Crazy on the train and it’s off the rails Cause you need a little wind back in your sails Pop goes the vessel and the vessel goes pop And the sideways view gets seen from the top And the middle of the page gets cut As you listen to the door of the cage get shut Nothing to say Fading away Reveal the joke Feel the stroke Back to the middle of the fun And now it’s time for another home run And this one’s just for the best of the bunch Oh oh, looks like a little too much Doesn’t aways take you clean And you’re left in a babbling state between between Stuck in a cage that’s made of smoke And fade to black and choke
3.
Lies, lies, right between the eyes Can I get a witness, here among the witless Anyway, look them in the tooth veneer They dribble out the cult of fear And the sound of the megaphone pops and they suckle it up And the whole thing’s yours if you knuckle it up For the march of the lockstep drum And they sell it to the blind and the deaf and the dumb And they listen to the hack of the mass societal voice While the CEO’s of the banks rejoice Take heed of the bell that’s ringing in the town As the almighty pucker of the man looks down While the doomsday clock ticks on The checks all bounced and the money’s all gone Taken by the con man Time for the match and the gas can The world is a pyre Ruled by the liars Truth is now a memory Deal of the century Now become a thief and a whore The autopsy ambulance waits at the door Tragedy rides on the downtown line While liberty dies on the vine, killed by the lies Of the rich getting rich on the elevator pitch For the silicon don with the buttonhole stitch On the emperor’s new gear, did you hear that The gang’s all here and it’s clear that the end is near And they peel back layers of attack While the face in the front pays triple to the back And the idiots march to the beat of the drum Of the almighty dollars and the fife of the Dumdum bullets for the people in the street As the kid with the gun sets targets in a tweet For the checkmark status of the point oh one And the race is run
4.
Aerosol the city on the hill Ignore the fear and look the other way Eat the bread and drink the red until The time is here to leave without delay Live within the darkness out of sight Do you find amusement in the game? Blinded and indifferent to the plight You will find it’s all just the same One or the other Everything’s fucked One or the other Self destruct Now it’s moving deeper underground Make them think that help is on the way Turn it up and listen to the sound Nothing in the plan will save the day Do you love the one that equals X? Do you love the one that equals Y? Choose the one and get the empty set The other one will get the burning sky
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about

The world is a pyre, but nobody ever said the apocalypse shouldn’t be fun! Or have a great soundtrack. Which is precisely where Sick Jokes comes in with their appropriately titled debut EP MMXX (2020 in Roman Numerals, naturally) out today via industrial label COP International fueled with all the aggression, rage, and mania that have become the hallmarks of this year.

“The vision was to write some good, heavy industrial music again. It’s been a while. The times seem to need it,” says Michael Madill, guitarist/lyricist/sound designer behind the pop-industrial metal act, who co-produced the album with keyboardist Robert McCarroll. “Society in 2020 is full of anxiety and unease, and that makes us want to write anxious, uneasy music.”

Heavy, brooding, at times even a bit uplifting, the nine-track MMXX (four original songs, five remixes) is the collaborative effort of a band of old cohorts spanning the globe with Madill stationed in Normandy, France and keyboardist Robert McCarroll, drummer Kenny Wilson and dual vocalists Sean Haezebrouck and Plasmic spread out between Los Angeles, Detroit, and Austin.

Madill, McCarroll, Haezebrouck, and Wilson spent their formative days in a handful of industrial bands local to Detroit in the first half of the ‘90s (HAL, Noc Barrage, Batterie Acid), and found the zeitgeist of 2020 to be the spark to create some new material in the genre—this time around, joined by colorful L.A.-based singer Plasmic, a prolific producer in her own right.

The new material caught the ear of legendary producer John Fryer, whose Black Needle Noise project featured Haezebrouck on drums for a series of live shows in 2019. With the help of Fryer, the newly minted Sick Jokes honed in on four original songs and five additional remixes (one by Fryer himself).

Says COP International founder Christian Petke, “John [Fryer] called me up and said, ‘You have got to check these guys out. I really think we should have them on the label.’ I was sold after the first 8 measures. The guys gave Plasmic a solid 1990 cyberpunk backbone, but her energy and attitude pushed it straight into the 21st century. We have been waiting for angry music!”

MMXX represents an entirely virtual collaboration, recorded individually by each member in their own studios. The record was then edited by Madill in Normandy and mixed by Tony Hamera in Detroit. Along with John Fryer, remixes are by Scott Wexton (The Voodoo Organist), Kirill Slavin (EXT EST), Mike Propst (Various Reasons), and Justin Mysza, another alumnus of HAL. MMXX serves as both a time capsule of life in 2020 and as a salute to the genre.

credits

released December 1, 2020

Plasmic: Vocals
Sean Haezebrouck: Vocals
Michael Madill: Guitars, Keyboards
Robert McCarroll: Keyboards, Rhythms
Kenny Wilson: Drums

Produced by Michael Madill & Robert McCarroll
Edited by Michael Madill
Mixed by Tony Hamera
Mastered by Steve Baughman & Mauricio Iragorri at Next Level Mastering
Cover art by Los Fokos

Recorded February-September MMXX in Detroit, Los Angeles, Austin, and Normandy
All songs Michael John Madill Music (BMI), Robert McCarroll (BMI), Kenneth Robert Wilson (BMI)

Thanks: Plasmic, Sean Haezebrouck, Tony Hamera, Christian Petke, Selena Fragassi, Steve B, Alex Fuentes, Dave Feeny, Ed Donnelly, Mary Vinette, Dave Gregory, Tyler Carlson, Michael Ashburne, Justin Mysza, Scott Wexton, Kirill Slavin, Mike Propst and John Fryer

©2020 COP International
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