Track By Tracks: Human Missile Crisis - Liquor Store Stories (2023)

About the album, lyrically and musically:

Lyrically this album touches on many subjects but ultimately it is a journey through life, love, frustration, jealousy, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, making mistakes learning from them, and moving on while dealing with and existing in an anxiety-fueled world. Trying to make it through the rough patches. Remembering friends who were taken from this world too early. Musically it reflects all that with powerful moments and loud rock-out parts, we tried to capture the energy of our live show on this record. It comes with aggression, romance, hopefulness, and hopelessness but ultimately a strong uplifting message. We’re all in this together, let's stick together and watch it all burn.

Track By Track - Lyrically and Musically:

Overall I like to keep my lyrics vague in a sense so that the listener can ultimately come to their own conclusions on what these songs mean but here’s some insight.

1. Do You Remember:

Musically this song is intense and, in your face, right out of the gate. Originally it was written after a breakup. I tried to understand where we went wrong, at first blaming the other party but after some reflection, I realized that when I thought I was singing words at the other party in fact I was singing them right back at myself. “It's too bad that you still can’t face the truth”

2. The Spark:

This song deals with the feelings of anxiety, laying in bed late at night not being able to make sense of where things went wrong, and in turn not being able to get to sleep. There is also a vague reference to an event that happened in my life many years ago. I was walking through Queen Elizabeths Park (Glace Bay, NS) late at night with a friend when a meteor came down out of the sky and lit the entire park up. It exploded over our heads. I like to think that this song musically reflects all the feelings of that moment in time.

3. Haunted Home:

Outside of some of the toxic relationship break-up themes of this album, there are some other tracks that follow a different path, this is one of them. This song has to do with growing up in a small town and knowing that bad things are happening to other people, but everyone seems to not want to confront the situation and look the other way until it's too late. And sometimes it's far too late and somebody ends up in a body bag floating down a river. In silence we live with violence, but what if somebody said something? Could it have prevented this situation? Musically this song captures the absolute disgust with this type of societal norm, and it is reflected in the pure aggressive execution of the song.

4. Problems:

This song deals with the struggles of dealing with suicidal thoughts within yourself. “You're ignorant and free, should you feel the need to leave? I think you will despise just where your choices lead.” That choice is the ultimate choice to end one’s life – and I think that at least in my own situation that would have been the wrong choice. Musically you’ll notice throughout the song there is some feedback that rings throughout the song and sometimes breaks through into the track itself almost to the point of overpowering some parts and this is a reflection of the suicidal thoughts creeping in on a person’s psyche.

5. Blackwater:

This is a memorial track for a friend of ours who passed away. This is one of those songs that just wrote itself and came out of nowhere within about 5 minutes. One day I was speaking to my old friend’s brother, and he reminded me that Charles passed away 5 years ago. Shortly after that conversation I cracked a beer, picked up the guitar and this song basically appeared in front of me. We grew up in Dominion, Nova Scotia, and here on our local beach because; there were coal mining communities all around us – coal dust would wash up on our beaches – this is what “Blackwater” is. Sonically I wanted this song to be powerful and memorable, an anthem to our old friend Charles.

6. Distant Memory:

Throughout my life, I have been cursed with a very clear memory and can recall a lot of what has happened throughout my life. I don’t think I’ve ever even blacked out intoxicated before. This song has a hopelessness to it but also a hopefulness to it. It deals with coming to terms with the ending of a part of your life that was very hard to move on from. “Your sanctuary is wearing thin” references the safety blanket of falling back into the same old trap or relationship that you know you shouldn’t be in, but you go back because it's easy but now it's time to move on.

7. Liquor Store Stories:

The title track and arguably the most important song to me. This is one of the first songs that I wrote, and it tells the story of a toxic relationship plagued by substance abuse, mostly alcohol abuse finally breaks down but both parties refuse to let go even though they both know that it’s the best thing for both. Musically this song is very powerful rhythmically and has a bridge that honestly is just fun to play.

8. Too Long:

We always joked that this is our radio rock big-time Grammy-winning hit even though lyrically the content is far from any of that. This song is quite literally about going out and partying and getting so high that you think you're going to die while having somebody at home worrying about you while you're out and them not knowing if you’re even going to make it back alive. Speaking from my own personal life events, unfortunately. Musically it's pretty much a straight-up rock song with a bit of a weird bridge that sort of plays out like a fun night on the town but then things start to get weird and out of control, thankfully though it all comes back together and you finally get to sleep at the end of the night.

9. Mr Pryor:

The final track and a bit of an odd one out. This song has nods to the BLM and ME TOO movements. I’ve always been a massive fan of comedy, Richard Pryor being one of my favorites. Towards the end of his life, he did some “stand-up” comedy shows but because his health was getting so bad, he did them sitting down, that’s what the line “Did stand up sitting down” refers to. I found myself watching on tv what was going on with the BLM movement and the ME TOO movement and being enraged by the way people would treat each other. I just wished we could all move past the racism and sexism and unfair treatment of our fellow humans and just laugh at something together. This song says I hear you; I see you, and I support you and as the final lines ring out, yes, I want to see women set the world on fire. Musically this song towards the end builds to a massive rock outro and that’s basically just a representation of how I think everyone is feeling about the state of the world today, building to a boiling point and ready to explode. “Are you laughing yet? Do you think this song is funny yet?” is sort of my own weird way of a subtle nod to Carly Simon's “You’re so vain”

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