Cognitive Dissonance

by Matthew Ebel

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1.
If we leave this town tomorrow will we crawl back again someday? Are we starting an adventure or are we just running away? Is our love enough to hold us through the darkness and the light? Will we find ourselves together or is this the big goodbye? CHORUS: I see you staring down that road, but you don't have to walk alone. Shake that weight, your heavy load won't break you– let me take you home. I will take you home. Maybe we could find a reason to forget the whole affair. Heaven knows it would be safer to pretend that we don't care. If our love was all we needed, would you sail away with me? Just dip your toe into the water or dive headfirst into the sea? (Chorus) I got this feeling deep down in the marrow of my bones: The stars are not our ceiling, the sun is just an arrow pointing home. (Chorus x2)
2.
The Beating 03:29
Act now! Yours is obsolete! Gotta get them all so you'll feel complete! And you'll wait all night and you'll tell your friends and they'll say "all right!" But it never ends, no it never ends. You don't have to take that shit so why do you put up with it? It's not like you don't have a choice, YOU DO. CHORUS: Stop showing up for the beating like Henry Rollins said. Don't swallow what they've been feeding you gotta feed your head. Tastes great! Won't fill you up! Hail to the king in a plastic cup! But you know they're wrong and you know your taste, but you play along. What a fucking waste. What a fucking waste. You don't have to drink that shit so why do you put up with it? It's not like you don't have a choice, YOU DO. (CHORUS) BRIDGE: Line up, bottoms up! We got plenty where that came from, don't you want to fit in? Everybody's got one of their own, got the app on their phone, got the six-pack at home. It's good, you see it everywhere. It's everywhere you see, it's good. Of course it's good, it's everywhere, I'm glad we're understood. (Now shut up and TAKE MY MONEY!) CHORUS: Stop showing up for the beating like Henry Rollins said. Don't take the shit they've been feeding you, right? Stop showing up for the beating like Henry Rollins said. Don't swallow what they've been feeding you gotta feed your head.
3.
Mister Speaker can you tell me what to do? I'm really in a hell of a pickle. I've got these children and they're driving me insane; they're arrogant and pushy and fickle. I give them everything but that just ain't enough, they're always taking cash from the neighbors. Their chores are basic but they always blow them off; they owe their donors too many favors. CHORUS: Their lives are easy but they don't even show up for their classes. They're old enough to drive, but I'm still wiping their asses. Mister Speaker, Mister Speaker what the hell do I do? Mister Speaker can I kindly pick your brain? I've got to mitigate a disaster. I wanted order, but it's like Lord of the Flies– I can't make them grow up any faster. They can't control themselves, they fight like rabid dogs but putting them to sleep's not an option. Meanwhile my bank account is going down in flames… Please can I put them up for adoption? CHORUS: You think by now these little turds would learn some freaking compassion, but self-preoccupation seems their only attraction. Mister Speaker, Mister Speaker what the hell do I do? Children on the right, children on the left, what am I to do? This American dream is like a nightmare coming true. Mister Speaker, I've a penny for your thoughts– I think I might have found a solution. You might not like it but something has got to pass, these brats are killing my constitution. I can't kick 'em out, I gotta wait another year– you gotta finish up what you started –but they're degenerating worse with every day. It's time the little bastards departed. CHORUS: The new arrivals won't shut up, no matter how much I shake 'em. Their elders break their promises as fast as they make 'em. It's time this tragedy of errors finally ended 'cause this is not the family my forefathers intended. Mister Speaker, Mister Speaker what the hell do I do?
4.
I Suppose 03:40
Seems like everything's going to hell. The Devil's run for office and he's doing well. Stranger things have happened, but I'll be damned if I recall. I guess we're bound for warmer weather come the fall. Seems like everyone's looking to sell. Ain't no cash to buy with, but that's just as well. You got credit lines to wrap around your neck like your new tie. You say I need some? No thanks, man, I'll get by. CHORUS: I keep a loose grip on the bars and let the front wheel do its thing, believe it points the way to better roads. And where we're going nobody knows, but it's alright, alright I suppose. Everybody gets thrown on their asses now and then. Yeah, sometimes we bounce back and sometimes we need a hand. In the end we're all just following the wind, where it blows, I suppose. CHORUS
5.
Get Some 04:37
There you go again queueing up for the abuse. You're on the money train but the driver's insane and it looks like you're the caboose. With a voice in your ear and a foot in your rear you wanna jump the rails, but you try to be good- falling in like you should -while the big dogs step on your tail. What's that you say? You think you're better off running alone? You got a red-hot ache for the big dog's steak but instead you've been licking their bones. "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" is what they're saying while they stand on your back, but the front of the train ain't a leader, all they're better at is following somebody's tracks. Come on… CHORUS: Get some, get some. Get some, get some. Day after day goes by but the weather never seems to change. You see the sunny peak they're keeping out of your reach and you're sick of living in the rain. You gotta make like an earthquake, baby, gonna shake that mountain down. They're gonna put up a fight but in the end it's alright, ain't nothing gonna stop you now. You got something to say? 'Cause it looks like you're ready to blow. You been keeping it in with a concrete skin, but the cracks are starting to show. No voice, no choice, no power are the manacles they want you to wear, but you're never gonna beat 'em if you're playing by the cheater's definition of what they call "fair" so come on… (Chorus) Ain't nothing gonna stop you now… Ain't nothing gonna stop you now… Ain't nothing gonna stop you now… Ain't nothing gonna stop you now so get some. (Chorus)
6.
People of Earth: Do not be alarmed. We come in peace. My name is Prodo-1 and I know what you are thinking: You are upset, you may even be frightened. But I have seen the future and I can assure you with all sincerity and certainty that this band does not suck This band does not suck. This band does not suck. I know the urge to run away may be strong; that when you first heard the drummer warming up, you asked for the check. You reached for the screen to thumb this track down. The din of some indie band you've never heard of is the last thing you want in your head tonight. I understand. Your mind is already taxed enough: Famine. War. Poverty. Disco. That hottie ten feet to your left that you keep making eye contact with, but you can't tell if they're together or they're just friends. These are the tasks that overclock your CPU tonight. So what fresh hell is this noise pouring from the stage into your ears like sap: pervasive and indelible? I assure you, this noise— these auditory constructions —are here to help preserve your sanity, not to destroy it. For this band does not suck. This band does not suck. This band does not suck. You can feel yourself begin to relax. Order another beer. The seat grows more comfortable, the floor spacious and inviting. In this place, in this moment, you are safe. A sanctuary within a sanctuary. For beyond the auditory reach of this music we humbly offer tonight, your life may seem burdensome. Complicated. Uncertain. However, the wretched turmoil of the world outside this venue seems like a kindergarten when compared with the cold, unfeeling eternity of the black universe. Remember this— and take this to heart, for there may be little else to console you with. One truth shines through the eternal darkness: This band does not suck. This band does not suck. This band does not suck.
7.
Here lies the dreams that I had before reminding me I should be more. They're better broken on the floor. Here lies an empty shell, a prison made of just one cell. Shut myself inside and wonder why I'm trapped in hell. CHORUS: I am not the only man buried by his well-made plans, a prisoner of his youth. I'm tearing down the gilded cage– the product of a younger age –that once upon a time I knew. Good riddance, I'm done with you. Here lies the perfect plan, the legend of the also-ran. Ambitious towers made of sand. Here stands a dedication built upon the ruins of my aspirations. An epitaph for procrastination. Fear is a disease and I'm the medication. (CHORUS x2)
8.
9.
Better 03:59
Baby if I told you I was loaded would you love me any better? Maybe if my bank account was bloated it would mean you'd love me better. You tell me that I'm worth it but I know I can't compare, so I fake my sunny stare no one knows how much I'm scared. I could listen to some music that I hated if you think it sounds better. I suppose that I could be manipulated if you wanna make me better. Well I can't shake this fear that I'm not good enough I guess. If I said i was a mess, would you love me any less? CHORUS: 'Cause I can't make you love me any more. Every day's just like the one before, and I'm so tired of waking up and wondering if you'll be there when I do. Maybe if I cleaned up all your messes then you'd love me so much better. If I shave my legs and wore some shorter dresses wouldn't I look so much better? I know you say you want me but I don't think I'm cut out. I keep hanging on these doubts and my grip is giving out. Tell if I got fake tits, do you think I'd look better? If I said that if you leave I'll slit my wrists, would it make you love me better? I get so much attention but it's never quite enough and I just can't keep this up. No I just can't keep this up. BRIDGE: Turn my head off for a moment, take a breath and close my eyes. You can see right through my smile, this well-rehearsed disguise. You've been holding me together on this untamed rocket ride keeping me from burning out when I've been burning up inside, you couldn't love me better if you tried. You couldn't love me better if you tried. CHORUS: And I couldn't make you love me any more Every day's just like the years before and I won't have to wake up wondering if you're gonna be there when I do. (Repeat)
10.
So they say this is the end. Wipe the makeup from my face, fill my glass and fade away so someone else can take my place. It's okay, we'll still be friends. Sure, I've said that line before, still it's nice to say once more even though my voice is hoarse Watch the magic dissipate as lights come on. On your breath, a lingering song. All I have to give is gone. Gather 'round like fallen leaves; once the pride of summer's dawn, brittle flashes come and gone, now we lie here on the lawn while the stars who light our way burn beyond the lives of men. We will rise with them and then light the fires of youth again. To the ashes we return like birds of flame. Though we've sung the old refrain, it will never sound the same. CHORUS: We can move on, we can move on together. We can move on, we can move on together one more time. Set my glass upon the bar. Know this spirit won't pervade— taste the hour, then let it fade. Lingering traces, memories made, curtain calls and kisses blown. Divvy up the artifacts. Heaven knows when I'll be back, out the door into the black Once again we march into the great unknown bearing all the will we've sown; We will never be alone. CHORUS

about

Matthew Ebel’s latest album shatters one wall after another.
His usual light-hearted writing shares the stage this time with more serious fare, but Cognitive Dissonance is anything but a drag. Topics like self-doubt, consumerism, and disenfranchisement are matched with equal levels of empowerment, hope, and even the humor his fans have come to expect.

As Ebel describes it, “we build walls because actually solving conflicts is difficult. In reality, though, those walls are just thin panes of glass. When that glass breaks and you actually have to figure out what you believe… that is cognitive dissonance.”

While Ebel may have dialed up the intensity of his arrangements for this release, the songs are still catchy and memorable as always. Some of the more relaxed tunes, like “Coyote All Night” and “This Band Does Not Suck”, harken back to his usual tongue-in-cheek style. On the other side of the wall are tumultuous songs about politicians, ambition, and self-image.

The name Cognitive Dissonance belies the cohesion of the album. Infusing piano and soaring vocals with loud, raw, 90’s-alternative-inspired guitar and drums brings out the best of both worlds.

credits

released June 23, 2017

Writing, production, vocals, and keys by Matthew Ebel. Drums by Runtt. Bass guitar by Matthew Pompei. Guitars by Korozjin. Angry shouting by Shelly & Greg Hazard, Tim J Hohne, Joseph baldovin, and Richard Baldovin. Recording & mixing by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios. Mastered by Brian Charles at Zippah Studios.

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Matthew Ebel Seattle, Washington

I call myself a piano rocker, but I’m really just kind of a goofball. I’ve been playing the piano since age 5, discovered electronic music at 12, and made this stuff my career in '99. Since then I’ve played the Grand Ole Opry, been quoted in Rolling Stone, and made a name for myself in new media. I’ve been playing piano rock full-time since 2007 and since then I’ve never looked back. ... more

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