Ramshackle Glory – Live the Dream (album review)

Happy Tuesday!

live the dream

Ramshackle Glory is the final band that Pat the Bunny was in/started before he retired in 2016.  Pat seems to write albums that are heavily autobiographical, this one being no exception. Pat the Bunny is one of those artists that I discovered in the last couple of years where from the first album I listened to by him, Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, I thought “HOLY FUCKING CHEDDAR! This kid has a goddamn voice!”  I mean that both literally and lyrically, like if you listen to Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains (link here) his lyrics are deep but his voice is so “ugly beautiful”.  He is also one of the few artist who has made me jealous because when I started doing research into him, I found out the bastard is like MY FUCKING AGE (I turn 30 this year, for the record). Jealous not because of the life he’s lived, honestly I have pity for the unexplainable amounts of pain and drama he must have experienced, but for the depth of his ability as an artist.  Sometimes life is just but it’s usually never fair.

your heart

This is my favourite song, I might even get a tattoo of this image at some point.

Speaking of just and fair, Ramshackle Glory’s first album deals heavily with ideas of freedom particularly with regard to the things which hold us back such as grief, substance abuse, and political against. This isn’t to say Pat doesn’t have a sense of humour, which can be seen from his track titles “We Are All Compost in Training”, “Vampires are for Poseurs” and “First Song, Part 2” and lyrics like “No one needs to tell me how to get (get get) down // But won’t somebody show me how to get back up? // I thought about killing my landlord, but he was pretty nice// Instead, I paid my rent on time as often as I could” and “Who needs brakes when it’s all down hill from here?”\

Album Summary:

Live the Dream is Ramshackle’s first album is a folk-punk memoir concept album about presumably Pat the Bunny (the lead singer) and some of the friends he mentions throughout the album, specifically Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist.  The half of the album is a sort of descent into what seems to be a deeply low but ultimately growing period in his development as a person and an artist which said growth is gradually built up in the second half of the album. The second half of the album is both rhythmically and lyrically more uplifting and progressing through to the climax song (which is also my favourite song) Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist and the the outro song “First Song, part 2” which can be seen as a “redemption song” opening with “I took the needle out of my arm about a year ago today// ever since then i’ve been taking the needle out of my brain”.  Overall it’s a rough but excellent album well worth listening all the way through for the appreciation of both the self referential and narrative lyrics starting with the lyric from the first song “But nothing’s been quite the same since you shot yourself” which seems to be a reference to Chuck in Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist.

Track List:

live the dream 2

Live the Dream (full album)

  1. First Song (lyrics) (2.27)
  2. More About Alcoholism (lyrics) (2.43)
  3. We Are All Compost in Training (lyrics) (3.18)
  4. From Here Till Utopia (Song for the Desperate) (lyrics) (6.40)
  5. Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty) (lyrics) (4.04)
  6. Vampires are Poseurs (Song for the Living) (lyrics) (2.50)
  7. Of Ballots and Barricades (lyrics) (1.44)
  8. Bitter Old Man (lyrics) (4.18)
  9. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist (lyrics) (3.40)
  10. First Song, Part 2 (lyrics) (3.20)

Song Notes:

First Song

  • But nothing’s been quite the same since you shot yourself

I don’t know if you believe in ghosts; I hope you’d haunt me if you were one

More About Alcoholism

-(I fully realise the irony of not having any notes about this song)

We Are All Compost in Training

From Here Till Utopia (Song for the Desperate)

Aren’t big enough for the vowels that

I try to fit inside of them (IOU)

  • When I was young, I drank too much, and I’d be lying if I said

I didn’t feel so goddamn young tonight

  • Like if freedom means doing what I want

Well, don’t I gotta want something?

And won’t you tell me that we want something more than just more beer?

I’d be out of excuses for the way

I waste away in the gutters that I chose desperate but not desperate enough

  • Because there’s gotta be something more

Than lying in the front yard, naked, screaming at the constellations

I want something more than an apology to say

When I look the world in the eye

I’ll tell you, man, my friend William came to me with a message of hope

It went: “Fuck you and everything that you think you know

If you don’t step outside the things that you believe

They’re gonna kill you.”

He said: “No one’s gonna stop you from dying young and miserable, and right

If you want something better, you gotta put that shit aside.” i love this

Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty)

The lights are on, you’re standing up screaming at a ghost again

Darling, I’m home, hell I ain’t left this house of ours in days

But I’m not here. I never am, so I just can’t stay this song is so sad

Vampires are Poseurs (Song for the Living)

  • You could set a watch by the bottle returns and the ashtrays overflowing on the floor I love this  line, also i love the sound at this part of the song

-one of my favourite songs on the album (close to your heart)

  • I hope we choose the right war

Cause I’ve been fist fighting gravity since the day I learned how to breathe

I still wake up on the same cold floor I fell asleep on

So I won’t, but we shall overcome someday

I can’t do it alone, but I shall be free someday

I don’t know how to live, but I’m sick of learning how to die very nice

  • But the past was a mine field, and right now is a prison break

I hope we make it alive so nice

Of Ballots and Barricades

There have been thieves since there’s been property

And the way will come again when none of those things are around

I just hope it’s before people go extinct hahaha

Bitter Old Man

-catalonia 1936 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Catalonia

How could they?

Full of naive optimism;

A teenager’s heartbreaking conviction that

Things can be different, oh yeah

Things are gonna be real different when we’re finished ’round here

Fuck me man

Except when it isn’t, yeah

I woke up this morning and

I wasn’t in prison

But I can’t promise that I’m far from it

I’d still kill a man for cigarette

But with friends like you, who needs homicide? Shift in the song

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist

-my favourite song on the album

-a collection of friends and their stories he has had over the years

  • “Scott, I love you and you make me glad to be alive

I promise that I’m gonna pay you back

You always know how funny everything is

Even when I’m so serious that it’s gonna be the death of me”

I promise that I’m gonna pay you back

You always know how funny everything is

Even when I’m so serious that it’s gonna be the death of me” this is a perfect summary of my relationship with my best friend Evan (I love you bro)

First Song, Part 2

A year ago today” full circle, redemption song

I’m still an atheist

But I try to have faith in the things that will happen;

I get saved from myself when i do

So maybe “god” isn’t the right word, but I believe in you” this  gets me

 

 

 

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