Spidermilk

by The Mercury Tree

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Three Star Smash
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Three Star Smash You've heard of earworms, now try some giant earachnids... okay, I apologize for milking it. But, I tell you true: spider imagery really does capture the lush, off-kilter, slightly touched beauty of this record. Anchored by the comforting familiarity of the diatonic, but spinning xenharmonic prog melodies like nothing you're statistically likely to have heard before outside of a DMT dream, The Mercury Tree have made a proper prog record with Spidermilk. Solid contender for AOTY right here. Favorite track: Brake for Genius.
xenharmonicgod
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xenharmonicgod This album is frighteningly distinctive, powerful, virtuosic, and full of satisfying extremes that oppose each other. Diatonic and xenharmonic. Common time and mixed. Free time and in lockstep. I'd say this album is strong enough to join the ranks of Sevish and Brendan Byrnes in terms of accessibility, superior musicality, and production, and it should be regarded as an essential component of contemporary prog. Favorite track: Vestments.
Steven Smith
Steven Smith thumbnail
Steven Smith they can't even play they're instruments! ...or can they?
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about

A mammoth project of over two years, this is our first full-length album composed entirely in microtonal tuning using 17 notes per octave. Using an assortment of custom-built instruments and synthetic sounds, and a newly expanded lineup, we've tried to craft something that's beautiful yet completely unfamiliar. We hope these novel pitches, typically rarely heard by the average music listener, will introduce you to an alien and fascinating world, yet one that's still rich with humanity and emotion.

credits

released April 4, 2019

Ben Spees - voice, guitar, keyboards
Connor Reilly - drums
Oliver Campbell - bass
Igliashon Jones - guitar

Special guest:
Tony Mowe - alto & baritone saxophone

Recorded 2018-19 at College of Wizardry & Bongo Fury, Portland, OR
Mixed by Ben Spees
Mastered by Stephan Hawkes

Cover artwork by Andrea Kessler

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all rights reserved

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about

The Mercury Tree Portland, Oregon

The Mercury Tree is an experimental rock band from Portland, Oregon.

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Track Name: I Am A Husk
cut me down by tooth or by tusk
I am a husk
jelly under leathery crust
I am a husk
get the point or at least the thrust?
I'm a husk
I have been crushed

shy away from my distinctive musk
I got the stink upon me now

trap my leg by trick or by trust
gullible husk
make the call you seem to think you must
(I'm not so sure personally)
cooperative husk
scratch my stupid name into the dust.
everyone must know
there was a husk.

to exist alone
hapless
helpless
weightless

*

hello husk, I am the meat
I've de-adhered
we've been degloved

meat man is stepping out tonight
cane in hand, a twinkle in the eye

now I'll do what you can't
how was I you? you are like an ant
now I'll do what you can't
how was I you? you are like an ant

meat man is stepping out tonight
cane in hand, a twinkle in the eye

now I'll do what you can't
how was I you? you are like an ant
now I'll do what you can't
how was I you? you are like an ant

everybody shake the meat man's hooks
glad-hand the meathooks
everybody shake the meat man's hooks
glad-hand the meathooks
line up single file to get a look
see how the meat cooks
we're all hanging from the meathooks
Track Name: Vestments
I'm wearing a vest
you can't touch me
so do your worst or do your best
but make your next guess

beat me at chess?
that's unlikely
my moves prepared years in advance
my algorithm guarantees success

if I seem robotic
I'm just focused on the task that's at hand
do I seem neurotic
when I'm setting fire to all of your land?

robe yourself
robe yourself in white clothes
robe yourself
robe yourself in ghosts
Track Name: Arc of an Ilk
mistakes were made
that's what some claimed
well, I'll say.

the face is so generous
to give so much away
hit the bumps, then the swell came

I wasn't forewarned
that you were eight-armed

the arc of an ilk
the ilk of the likes of you
lips extrude silk
nipples give spidermilk
fountaining in the arc of an ilk.

your lies could fill ocean-sized holes.
by which I mean they're numerous.
your dissertations were voluminous
and strained

tracings, tracings, your drawings are tracings
left to me to see you're tracing movie frames.
gaming, gaming, an artist, you claim.
an artist, you claim.
an artist, you claim.
an artist, you claim.
an artist, you claim.
an artist, you claim.

and now I don't dream anymore
this new medication is working out great
and I'm finally getting some sleep

the arc of an ilk
the ilk of the likes of you
lips extrude silk
nipples give spidermilk
fountaining in the arc of an ilk
Track Name: I'll Pay
I'll get off of you this time
this'll be made right
in imminent days
I'll cover you this time
but this is the last time
in a few ways
I'll pay

if what you want is what there's not
and what I have you haven't caught
a human heart cannot be bought
but I'll pay

I'll pay
you'll make me
snow-fake
post-flaky
too much
"you can't take me anyway," you say
I'll pay

maybe we both will
your half-life remains to kill
thirty-five tries, doing it still.

maybe we both will.
maybe we both fall ill.

bleed iron.
bleed iron.
bleed bad, bleed bad, bleed bad.
dearly, dearly.

I'll pay
you'll make me
snow-fake
post-flaky
"too much, you can't take me anyway," you say.

I'll get you back someday.
I'll get you back someday.
I'll get you back someday.
I'll get you back someday.
I'll hit you back someday.
I'll hit you back.

I'll pay
you'll make me
fade away
a little earlier
you're such a hurrier
but I take it slow
Track Name: Superposition of Silhouettes
you were practice
but I never practice hard enough
the fact is, it's easier to give up
than to give all

so we have this superposition of two silhouettes
where the lines match up but
the shading doesn't yet
how far away can close get?

you began this
but you never finish what you start
in part it's just that
it's impossible to hit the mark
when you're thus marked

so we have this dark simulation of a pirouette
wherein the spinning doesn't stop till
one of us has fled
how far away can close get?
Track Name: Kept Man
kept to himself, seemed like
always polite
maybe the quiet type

always in a hurry
why all the hurry?

places to take apart
people to go
places to take apart
people, oh

kept to himself, mainly
little bit strange
must have been issues, plainly

always striding quickly
why stride so quickly?

places to take apart
people to go
places to take apart
people, oh

carry those opaque bags of supplies
all of your opaque bags of supplies
surprise!
Track Name: (Throw Up My) Hands
throw up my hands
I've hand enough
I should have never
swallowed them up

hands don't go down easy
I'll admit I felt...

can't lift a finger
can't lift a finger
can't lift a
mother, father, what have I done?

"child, it's plain as nightfall
you've seen how the dice fall"
did I make the right call?
hang up

throw to break
there's no escaping
you're just like a snaking river
toward the end the depth gets thinner

why wait?
I've soured on the taste
of drinking your face
so I throw up my hands
Track Name: Disremembered
disremembered
flayed in place
held in space but not in time

no time to fetch that member
of my mind's historic record
every second doesn't pass

every second doesn't pass by
every second doesn't pass
sometimes they gasp as they struggle
but they never last

there, there, my love
it's on you to rise above.
sit up out of that coffin!
unskinned from the body you were in
you should get out more often

I think I might have caught amnesia.
weren't you coughing last night?
I thought that you were
but apparently I can't be so sure
I'll probably have to take your word for everything

I thought I swam to Indonesia
got stung by a jellyfish and died
but it seems that never worked out quite as I recall.

I disremembered you
only cause I had to
didn't enjoy it
it was hard to keep you quiet through it
and I can still hear the sound you made
when you realized what I meant to do

and now you walk around like it never happened
now you walk around like it never happened
now you walk around like it never happened
do I have to do it again?
I think I have to do it again.

small parts, small parts
don't gum up the bonesaw.
turn on, turn on the bonesaw.
Track Name: Brake for Genius
I brake for genius
but I haven't hit the brake in years
chisel chips away
but still I haven't broken through the glaze

maybe it's this haze that's to blame
someone sneaky scrawled an asterisk beside my name

although it might not be unfair to say
it's fairly hemispheric in a way
a polar opposite can pull you to magnetic north
but you should never stick your head in the mouth of a horse

because that horse might lead you into court
where a jury of your peers could sentence you to freedom for ten years

and you would never hear them through the grinding of the gears
that get worn down so fast
until there's nothing left

still it might not be unfair to say
it's fairly hemispheric in a way
a polar opposite can pull you to magnetic south
but if you're in a bubble, you should not live in a house venue

oh, venerable you
oh, vulnerable you
oh, vain and vapid residue
so cruel, so true.

oh, venerable you
oh, vulnerable you
inviolable you.

if you infer, then I'll imply
if you prefer, I'll lie down and die
I brake for genius
but I'd never hit the brake for you.
you're no genius.
Track Name: Tides of the Spine
mentality climbs despite the physical slide
hung from the S-line splitting the left from the right
dead center, so dead
clever at hiding the signs
nine quadrants combine
harness the tides of the spine

cut me with your mouth scissors
no seat at the table?
you may be for dinner
little left to give you, but I'm a giver
so you can eat my liver

touch my lips, I flinch.
the way out isn't always out
isn't even in
but it might be down

no one knows how truly scared you are
I do

no one knows how truly weird you are
I don't

no one knows how you could fall so far
it's my fault

stupid sweet
naive as me
you take this course
and I do nothing to prevent you.

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