Active Ingredients

by Citizen Fish

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credits

released April 1, 1999

Voice/words - Dick
Guitar - Phil
Bass/voice - Jasper
Drums - Trotsky
obvious Trumpet - Jim
subliminal Trumpet - Barry

Recorded at Phil's Roadside Cafe, Warminster
engineered+mixed by Phil/Jasper
Nov 98 + Jan 99

Bluurg Records Fish 38

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Track Name: Active Ingredients
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

The will to respond when the chase is on
Sends people up trees cos when they're gone
The carbon dioxide in the air
Will put a sweat on the polar bears
The ice will melt and we'll feel the freeze
Of freshwater currents in the northern seas
Then the population expands to squeeze
Between frozen wasted and the overheated shade

Will it be man made
This recipe for disaster?
Have we a part to play
In this recipe for disaster

The need to be fed cos if you're not you're dead
Gave us the chemical safety net
Now as we scan the ingredients
We're back in the classroom feeling dense
Then lists get made and facts displayed
That tell us what's behind the names
Sedation and addiction to
Staying alive on processed food chains

Will it be man made
This recipe for disaster?
There's human brains
In this recipe for disaster

The desise to resist when nature's twisted
Animal/human rights restricted
Leads to people who won't be led
By the mainstreamlining in their heads
Linking up to a new perspective
It's a chain reaction cause and effective
It's happening now fast not slow
Active ingredients go go go!

Now we're face to face
With a recipe for disaster
Have we something to say
In this recipe for disaster?
Is there a difference made
To this recipe for disaster?
Have we a part to play
In this recipe for disaster?
It depends what part you're after
Track Name: The B.O.B. Song
THE B.O.B. SONG

Bob goes bouncing down the road to Bremen
24 hours goes to fast
Drinks in elbow-crowded bars
Mixing Becks and Kummerling
6 a.m. and where are we?
In Bremen

Bob goes bouncing down the road to Oakland
Coffee pizza liquor store
Sits in the sun it's California
Get brown get down to the bay
All the punks come out to play
In Oakland

Bob goes bouncing down the road to Bath
Goes to the heart of the west country
Where the grass is yellow and the cider's green
- I reckon it's the other way round -
Bubbling up from the underground
In Bath

Bob met a friend of a friend of yours
Bob got a letter and wrote some more
Bob saved up and got the plane
Now Bob's in the kitchen going insane
Bremen, Oakland, Bath and on
Cos it don't matter where you come from
If you think this is it you're in for a shock
Cos the whole fuckin' planet is a big punk rock!
Track Name: Oslo
OSLO

Well shake it up and fizzle it out
Call it what you will
There's nothing quite like getting out of your face
To stop you feeling ill...

But the next day you're out there and you're still stoned
Only seeing policemen and feeling all alone
You need a dose of vitamins you need some H2O
Concentration comes too fast and then it tends to go
And if you get all stoned again the whole thing just repeats
So pull it up and wake it up with arms and legs and feet

Then you get to be so knackered cos you're doing this and that
You need to quit the madness and re-learn how to relax
By the time you've reached the point at which you've lost the will to rush
You'll be so relaxed that next day you'll be doing twice as much!
So pour it down or cook it up, call it what you can
There's nothing quite like food and drink to stop you going mad

But the next day you're out there and you're still full
Of alcohol, cholesterol, wind and piss and drool
You need a pile of tablets, you need a place to sit
The time it takes to run around has shrunk and doesn't fit

Then gradually you lose the speeds
Of fast and slow and ideas feed
From work to play until the need
To set the gap has gone

So until then I think I'll spend
The week re-living the weekend
And vice-versa -he's off again
Now where's that chorus gone?

Open it up or close it down but take it when you go
Cos there's nothing quite like going away to a place you hardly know
And having a session of mental regress - yes yes
I think we get the point... joint?! Pint?!
O - S - L - O
Good night!
Track Name: Bitter and Twisted
BITTER AND TWISTED

I been hating so much for far too long
I can't think of anything happy for a song
It's all been covered in critical spit
Dredged out and analysed bit by bit

I hate this society it made me learn
How to hate so much, now it's hard to turn
This attitude it produced in me
To something more/less B & T

Bitter and twisted
Waving our fists
And taking the piss
But who's the victim?
It's easier to hate then it is to laugh
Bitter and twisted
Couldn't predict it
Could end up seeming self-inflicted
Or is it introspection gone too far?

It's war in here cos it's war out there
It's easier to say 'And we don't care'
Third degree burns from the third world war
It was fought on television so we all got the score

Here's a commercial break in between
The commercialisation of the human being
Hungry eyes, and those that say
There's no food left to eat today

It's bitter and twisted
When they insist
It's always been like this - impossible
To stop the crisis they've arranged
Try to resist it
Maybe you missed it
The revolution just got pissed
It's a choice, relax or drive yourself insane

On the other hand it's a really nice day
All the insanity's gone away
Good to relax not feeling much, dot, dot, dot
I'm not doing enough!
Strength and weakness, chaos and order
Happiness and hate all messing with the borders
Turning my face from the outside view
To 'have a nice day' now I'm splitting in two
Track Name: Digging a Hole
DIGGING A HOLE

Settle back and take a viewpoint
Heard before in wooden rooms
Hatred of authority begins with
Doing what you're told to do
When advice replaces orders
Hatred slowly turns to caution
Caution fades with interaction
Agreement - repetition - slogan

Waving slightly the banner cries
'There's no room left to advertise/
Nothing left to advertise'
In all directions seeing signs
Of struggles lost to compromise

Sometimes it seems like the problem's
So deep that the digging's getting nowhere
Sometimes we have to find solutions
No more distractions
We're digging a hole
Just to make sure

Has it got to the point where the problems are gone
To the surface once dug up and revealed?
Are they so in our face that they've come to replace
The things that we used to call 'real'?
Has it got to the point where the problems are gone
Because they got questioned and discussed?
Has it really all changed for the better these days?
Imagine a 'Veggies'R'us'

Acceptance is static retention
Of orders delivered on masse
We put ourselves outside the picture
But still sit reflecting on glass

So when the institutions call
Check your conscience before you open the door
Be happy knowing who you are
And still digging holes
Just to make sure
We know what we're talking about
We know what we found down here
Track Name: Sacred Cows
SACRED COWS

Headlines all went mad cow disease sensation
BSEized by panic in a big meat-eating nation

They told us beef was safe then told us not to eat it
Got banned from exportation but not from the supermarket
Before someone else died
But the people they all cried
'We need our meat and the money it makes'
You can't get a better bit of profit on your plate

Frightening to see how money and tradition
Can over-ride the facts and force a position

Now stickers in four-wheeled vehicles say
'I'm proud to eat beef' instead of
'My other car's polluting as well'
So much that it's fucking up the food chain, hell
What's that taste? It's animal waste
The look on your face says 'What's that smell?'
It's the stink of dead flesh
It's the sunday best
And other sacred cows
But they've all gone mad now
Well you'd be pretty mad too
If what happened to cows happened to you
Having your children taken away
Forced to stand in a pen each day
Fed the shit from other dead things
Then chopped to bits...

We all suggest you go vegetarian
Then all these problems are all sorted out!
Track Name: Pills
PILLS

I was taking all the pills to stop me feeling ill again
Supermarket shelves collapsing at the till again
Doctor couldn't help patients running out again

Where's the next step up?
All went blank for a couple of pages
Hazy recollection of staring for ages

I didn't know how, I didn't know when
An easy choice became a trend
Weakening the thrills less money to spend
Someone had a car borrowed from a friend

Memory distortion ten years on and back again
Thrills a generation crash into the window pane
Another empty parking space

A friend of ours was here
We drank a lot of beer
Next day his Vauxhall Cavalier
Had gone and disappeared

Taking all the pills only went so far
Did you get the thrills when you took the car?
Driving up the price of running out of anything
Caught in the distortion of escapism brutality
He's wasted - escapist - overdrawn reality
Track Name: Habit
HABIT

I wake up every morning and think today's the day
That takes this repetition and throws it all away
I stumble to the toilet then the kitchen for some food
I cannot do without it but it's what I always do

Here's the next door neighbour discarding his T.V.
No more life in two dimensions
Less then two weeks later his face is like a screen
And now he's got a bigger one - habit retention

It's a habit
Well I had it
And then I lost it
And now I want it back again

Manning the machinery and dreaming of the day
He'll get to see some scenery and have a holiday
And now he's won the lottery he'll never work again
Unless of course they ask him back, the cycle never ends

It's a habit
Well I had it
And then I lost it
And now I want it back again

There's people out there travelling so fast it's just insane
Always rushing to get back there
Home is where the car is parked and then it's off again
The fear of immobility? But you're just sat there!

I want to throw it all away-
And now I want it back again
Now he wants it back again
You can't have it back again, no no no

Habit is invisible until it falls apart
Left clutching for security and groping in the dark
What are we relying on so much that we get bored
With having it, but losing it will make us need it more?
I'm gonna throw it all away
I'm gonna do something today
Something that I haven't done before, it
Could be almost anything
I don't want to make a habit of it

It's a habit
Well I had it
And then I lost it
And now I want it back again
Track Name: Isolated Incidents
ISOLATED INCIDENTS

In the silence of next door
Lives a man fought in the war
Wary eyes through parted curtains
Seems OK but can't be certain

Uneasy feeling uninformed, or
Out of touch it's, well, abnormal
Maybe chat with that chap later
Meanwhile need to read the paper

Sex and fashion, competitions
Popstars praising politicians
Amusement park for our derision
So assured of our position -
None of it to do with us

And now the turning of the page
Produces yet another bomb
Distorted children's faces freeze
Where's the next one coming from?

Isolated incidents
Everyday events

Bombs and guns in daily doses
Fashion-nation with psychosis
Public trials of private loners
Staring blank into the cameras
Feeds a need for reassurance
Civilisation's working for us
Takes a bomb to show the crack, and
All we see is more distraction

Headlines - violence, war and sex
Disintegration nothing left
Of civilisation - here's the news
It's what we get accustomed to

Unaware of getting used to
Being scared of other people
If the world is going crazy
Staying in could be essential

[Where've I seen that face before?
Someone new moved in next door
Next in the line of next door neighbours
Maybe get to meet him later]
Track Name: Barking
BARKING

Think back to a bar surrounded by craziness
Unthinking drunken punk excess
Lives exploding from the stress
Of thoughts restrained by soberness

Misconception misdirection
Shredding lifelong friend connection
Contorted faces barbed wire words
Fighting talk that goes - heard

ABC defences rise
From loss of all pretences - why
This is real as one perceives it
But total shit as the other sees it

Bang - two friends get separated
I hate to see it generated
One dog barks the other runs
To get another bigger gun

Observers stay but know the fun
Has gone - you know that everyone
Has half an idea what went wrong
But being drunk the idea's gone

The questions all get theorised
The answer sleeps unrealised
See you in the morning then
I hope we see those two again
Clinking glasses eye to eye
Friends like that don't compromise
Track Name: Heard It All Before
HEARD IT ALL BEFORE

I had writer's block I was put in the dock
By critics of lyrics said it had to stop
The time to whine had gone tick-tock
Too much too long and over the top

Too much too soon? Too little too late?
It was 'the same old tunes' and they 'started to grate'
Mere speech balloons this was never a debate
Why you still looking for the sell-by-date?

I'm feeling the cost of thinking
It's all been said before
Something got lost
You knew it already
Or just got bored
With all this social observation

Too much too soon? Too little too late?
Any old excuse to disengage
'Don't get so mad' - 'We get tired of hearing it' -
Have you seen where this picture fits?

Into the frame of parenthood
Sometime when it was understood
That parents knew 'nothing' and couldn't 'relate'
Now I'm hearing the same from people my age

And into the frame of teachers and school
Who always knew more but kept to the rules
Teaching the same as they'd been taught before
Never updating, no inner thoughts

And into the frame of governments
Who demonise our common sense
Distort our real experience
Democracy bows to its own pretention
It's in your reflection

Attention span at closing time?
Don't talk politics! Make it rhyme!
And catch the feet to dance a yard
But politics makes us think too hard!

The way we follow or lead or decide
To co-operate or just stand aside
The way we say 'What you doing today?'
Or couldn't give a shit, how we work and play
Is politics
What we each decide
To be true or lies
It's time to decide
Whether how we live is our own free will
Are we running our lives? Or are we standing still?
Track Name: Deep Neurotic
DEEP NEUROTIC

I love it when you get neurotic!
All the underside erotic thoughts
The nightmare spikes
But I'm grinning, it's exactly like
Mirror talking in contempt
Now I know no-one's exempt
From releasing a hidden psychosis
Split second revelations

I feel you feel I know too much
It seems I can't do anything right
I know you know I feel too much
It seems I can't do anything right

And when the other real me
And when the other real you
Get close enough to be
One out of two
We'll back off denying as we even prove it
By making excuses that far from remove it

I feel you feel I know too much
It seems can't do anything right
I know you know I feel too much
It seems I can't do anything right

Personal shame at revealing ourselves
Kills off the contact we need to survive
If we tap at the source and say 'What the hell?'
We'll know who we are and we'll feel more alive

That's how the theories go
But who's to say it's right?
We contradict each other
Then say the other's got it right
We take it to extremes
Just to conclude it feels alright
When we stop talking to ourselves
Who do we turn to to say right!
Shut up! It's alright really!
Track Name: Not For Sale + Breaking a Habit
NOT FOR SALE + BREAKING A HABIT

Why are you leaving? Something to believe in
Just left the building here comes nothing
Seen the revolution go full circle
And now it's so much more relaxing
Where are they going? Didn't they know it's
Hard for us to feel rejected
Contract-diction number one, 'it can be done
Without losing our perspective'

Some will come and some will go
But some will stay despite temptation
Music bought and sold back
Is a shadow of its generation
What it meant and what it means
Is in our heads not on the screen
Communication interaction
Liveliness and satisfaction

This is what we get from music
Corporations just abuse it
We keep our own company
This culture is not for sale

Why all the complaining? Nobody's the same when
It comes down to hard decisions
But how far do you take it? Do you need to make it?
What's the price of your opinions?

Ideas come and ideas go
And some will stay to form the picture
In our heads or on the screens
Acted out or sold as culture
It's a lifestyle revolution
Just to share ideas for free
Your revolution will not be televised
Except on pay-per-view T.V.

This is what we get for asking
For someone else to do it for us
A culture full of instancy
This culture is not for sale

Well they outlined all the options
And gave us the directions
And told us lead don't follow anyone
It was hard to stop once started
And the promises soon departed
And we found out it was business and not fun

Now where's the reason for it?
The starting point's obscure, it's
Getting hard to recognise a friend
These men in suits and braces
Have no feelings on their faces
When they ask us to re-write that song again

It's not just music it's not just views
It's almost anything artistic
It's not just art that's only part of
Expression free from greed and profit

This culture is not for sale