Renaissance Beast

by Brooks Strause



released November 2, 2014

All vocals by Brooks Strause
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Brooks Strause in the Blue House basement, Iowa City, IA, 2010-2014
Except drums on The Past recorded by Landon Strause at Birds of Paradise studios, Traer, IA



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Brooks Strause Iowa City, Iowa


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Track Name: Callous Queen
You, who put knife in back, come along. I’ll take root sheathed in black in a song. Oh, callous queen. You whose choice birthed the lie everywhere. I’ll raise voice, face to sky in a prayer. Oh, callous queen. Open and floating there. Who are you? What are you? Thicken and taint the air. Who are you? What are you? You who bled on the cross be repaid. I’ll wear red rags and gauze in a shade. Oh, callous queen.
Track Name: In the Strange
In the strange place your mirrored face won’t look like you knew it. You dig in to thin skin and try to tunnel through it. All you know, wherever did it go? Something new with nothing left to do, birth of a new vague doubt, blood in the lion’s mouth. In the strange place your sense of taste won’t temper denial. You combust in cold lust and get lost inside the tile. Breaking bread with wise men who are dead. Being taught what is real and what is not, birth of a new vague doubt, blood in the lion’s mouth. In the strange place your broken vase will hold men and water. You touch fire for desire on Ritalin and blotter. Cyan lies, red truth in your eyes. Writhing vine wrapped around your mind, birth of a new vague doubt, blood in the lion’s mouth.
Track Name: Heartbreak Skeleton
Mind when she’s gone all night, sealed, held up to the light. You know what to look for and what you can see and that you’re a fool to hope you’re right. Suspect everyone, Heartbreak Skeleton. Still, just as still as death, cold from holding your breath. You know how it happens and what you can’t do and that leaving is all that is left. Suspect everyone, Heartbreak Skeleton. You try to make a change through ritual and wishing. You try to clear the way, but nobody will listen. You try to rearrange the shapes upon the ceiling. You try to seem okay, but it’s ruined by the feeling.
Track Name: Can You Tell
If you were trying to steal my heart, you did it well. Well, I think I can get it back, but I can’t tell. Can you tell? Sometimes I don’t know what else to do but put my foot to concrete. If I ever had a chance in hell with you, I’d take it in a heartbeat. I could get lost if that’s what you want, but I don’t think that’s what you want.
Track Name: Close Call
Into the future, out of your mind, under suspicion, over the line, fine lines. Around the same time, through the wringer, behind a closed door, in front of her, when the world fell apart, even if she broke your heart, you’re hers. For the second time, against the wall, below the surface, above it all, when the world fell apart, at least it was just your heart. Fell in love, rose up, sweet life turned sour. Close call, baby.
Track Name: The Past
We were crooked fingers playing violins. We were fat and ugly mannequins. We were heavy egos under thin skins. We were bloodless, just needles and pins. Your heart skipped a beat, but the earth did not tremble. Made ill by virtue, wounded by sin, the past is a lie I won’t tell again, selling our souls for a break in the weather with no business even being together. Judgement is painful, the truth is a curse. It may bring you bliss, but ignorance is worse, drawn to each other on concrete, in leather, with no business even being together. We were young drivers grinding gears. We were a little box full of petty fears. We were ungifted, myopic seers. We were careless, just wasting years. Let us drink now to what we have forgotten, what we’re still unaware of, what we must repeat.
Track Name: Insomnia
God knows this is torture is a hell of a teacher, visions of the future in the time of the preacher. The plea it is ancient, my mind is in danger. Just give me a rain check and leave me in anger. Wheels turning around, vessel run aground, thoughts not lost, but found by Insomnia, the bitch. Naked in the street, offered to concrete, kneeling at the feet of Insomnia, the bitch. Heart racing, feet pacing, pride tasting, space wasting. He wouldn’t let you get away with this if he were only here. It’s waking and shaking, no nightmares tonight for you my dear. A crow’s up there screaming, “We’re all going to die”. The mothers all cradle; the children all cry. Threatened and selfish the masses all twirl. The answer’s in death for a green little girl. I’m not taking any chances. I know how the eye dances: simple checks and darting glances, a little hope, middle of the night. Wounds weep, breathe deep, count sheep, go to sleep.
Track Name: Kali
Your voice is static. You feel automatic. You make my eyes burn. You were the lost turn. I present this heart and sing this song to Kali. I may try to be, but I belong to Kali. Cradle this love, oh, black of my night. Your teeth are showing. You know where I’m going. You make my chest hurt. You are the cool dirt. The early ceilings and awkward feelings, the acts forbade, the wagers made, all are your gifts. Your face is frozen. You are what was chosen. You make the flesh crawl. You will be this skull.
Track Name: Drank
I'll put a map into a song. Don't know where X will go. I did some right, I did one wrong. You could call that a low. But I want you to know that I am hard to know. You could know what I know and still call me a good man. I'll be honest with you but I don't know how to show you what I am. I'll put a code into the words, whatever they may be, through grapevines and little birds. You think that's getting me. But I want you to see that I am hard to see. If you wanted to see stars, maybe you should have said so. Just be patient with me and I'll introduce you to all the fools I know. Sorrow, sorrow, sorrow. I didn't know. But I want you to know that I am hard to know. You could know what I know and still not know what I mean. I'll be faithful to you but I don't know how to show you what I've seen.
Track Name: As Above, So Below
Oh, I’ve been where the saints go and trudged through the depths of hell. As above, so below. Oh, I’ve seen what the owls know and lusted like I can’t tell. As above, so below. Now, don’t mistake me, I keep my head up and my feet on the ground, my heart in the heavens, oh no, I don’t fuck around. Oh, I’ve gained what the tramps owe, ate dust when the hammer fell. As above, so below.
Track Name: Every One
It was fast and it was clean, bought the farm, sight unseen. It was hard and it was mean, but it was fast and it was clean, with that long, flat black hand around my throat. Oh, woe is me, now. I heard that poison melody and I knew every note. I cold and I was just. I turned my head in disgust. Had to hurt when burned by lust, but I was cold and I was just, with that long, flat black hand holding my strings. Oh, woe is me, now. I heard that scalpel of a voice and I knew all these things. Oh, woe is me, now. Broken like a toy and answering for everything I’ve done. Every one.
Track Name: The Night
The night comes for no one else. The night comes just for me. The night without a dawn like you have gone and I am free. This heart beat for no one else, this heart that beat so true, this heart that was so strong. It feels all wrong, now, without you. Now I know how to be alone, how to handle this, whatever this is. And I feel alright, better than last night, better than before I knew what I now know. Now I know.
Track Name: To Make Me Believe
Stalker of the night, you are ugly, but you’re right and cool as you are dumb. This just looks to be the end, I’ll tell you, ‘cause you’re my friend, there’s better yet to come. All that time trying to sleep. It takes a dream to make me believe. All day, all day, all day, all day. All night. So the sky falls apart, the fittest called out. Go into the breach, meet your fate filled in. We shudder and spit, defeated, showed up by a thing without name, resplendent, come down. Oh, Glory. All that time trying to sleep. It takes a dream to make me believe. We hold you to this. I won’t go anywhere. Go on.