IX

by RENT STRIKE

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I love the raw lyrics, they have given me comfort on many lonely nights this year of 2020. Saw John play in Pittsburgh on Valentine's Day, have been in love with the music since. I loved his energy, it gripped my soul immediately. Favorite track: V: Fair Trade Death March.
Academic Cannibal
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Academic Cannibal I miss my home, except when i don’t, and mostly i don’t. Favorite track: II: The Road Giveth....
E.Funn
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E.Funn I thought folk punk had nothing new to show me as a musical form, then I found this album. The melodies, songs, instrumentation, arrangements... it's all deliberately put together as a cohesive whole in a way that transcends genres and classification. It's timeless music. Favorite track: II: The Road Giveth....
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  • IX Deluxe Edition + Lyric Zine
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    RENT STRIKE's groundbreaking folk-punk-rock-opera IX, presented and packaged with a fully illustrated lyric zine, featuring art from talented mid-Michigan artists

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    Limited edition (everything is limited, be real, this is DIY) cassette of RENT STRIKE's groundbreaking Lord of the Rings concept album IX. Remastered for cassette.

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1.
I: Snowdrop 02:47
I - Snowdrop The River is frozen. You walk across. From snowy bank to snowy bank. Each side looks just like the other. What fucking difference has it ever made? And in the evening, we watch the sun. Follow where the light goes when it sets. Neon torches along the highway exits. To the end of every cigarette. So let the wind go where it wants. Let the ice crack in the by-and-by. I won’t wait around forever. This is the end. This is goodbye. This is the end.
2.
II - The Road Giveth... I could walk, I could walk for days Across bridges and old highways. Bare feet, achey bones, skin burnt by the sun. No one around me but a few close friends. No one to tell me how the world is gonna end. Unconcerned with the wars and the bombs, we would run. We’d find a place in history. Carving our names in that old oak tree. Whiskey ‘round the fire, now I lay me down to sleep, and In the morning, I would feel so good. Waking up in the middle of the woods. Legs stretched, palms up, and greeting the dawn With this song, it goes ~ Oh, I’ll always be angry. I’ll never be sober. I’ll never grow old. And I, I miss my home, sometimes. But mostly, I don’t. Mostly, I don’t. I could ride, I could ride this train Across mountains, and sprawling plains. Blowing smoke and spitting in the wind. And I’d never care what lies ahead. These things are easier done than said. All it takes is a step. Oh, I’ll always be angry. I’ll never be sober. I’ll never grow old. And I, I miss my home, sometimes. But mostly, I don’t. Mostly, I don’t. So this is it, at long, long last. Beholden to nothing, but the shadow of the past. Well, I’d just let the time pass. Because - living good, living right Is so much more complex than the black and the white, And I’m not gonna waste my time. I’m not gonna waste my life. I’m gonna keep going. My liver’s just fine, thanks. This will never get old. And I, I miss my home, sometimes. But mostly, I don’t. Mostly, I don’t ~ No, I’ll always be angry. I’ll never be sober. I’ll never grow old. And I, I miss my home, except when I don’t. And mostly, I don’t.
3.
III - Family Graveyard Where are the stars tonight? They’re far, far away. I cannot see the light. Oh, nothing will grow. In the deep, deep places where the light won’t go. And I’ve been dipping my toes into the darkness. Close my eyes. Pretend that I’m somewhere I’m not. I followed you. I had lost my way. You seemed to know what to do. But I lay on the family grave Yesterday. If it can be called yesterday. And they said, ‘We will never get out, we will die in the darkness. Close your eyes. Pretend that you’re somewhere you’re not.’ And I watched the last bit of light drop down into darkness. Close my eyes. Pretend that I’m somewhere I’m not. Where is our god tonight? He’s far, far away. He left us behind.
4.
IV - Me, Myself & the Eye What is an Ally? Who is the Enemy? There’s no such thing as Society. And what is a Friend? Who is my Family? What are these creatures I see all around Me? They’re crawling through cages. Pretending they’re free. You people don’t look like you do on T.V. And I don’t know where this train is taking me. I’m watching out the window at the world within my reach. The world of crippled soldiers sleeping in the city streets. I’m stateside in states I’d never learned in geography. I’m under gaze of Eye, hatred-soaked and fire-wreathed. I’m groping for an end that can justify these means Where I look in the Eye, drag you down into my dreams. You people don’t look like you do on T.V. Usurped! Disowned! I am going alone. I am going alone. Let the static channels moan, ‘I am going alone, I am going alone.’
5.
V - Fair Trade Death March I walked the highways in the darkness, in the Spring. To Columbus, I walked the highways in the Spring. Past iron walls across the street from hospitals, To Columbus, I walked the highways in the Spring. And in the Summertime, I saw the northern lights. Up in Portsmouth, where I walked in the Summertime. Cars passed by, it’s ‘Live Free or Die’ Up in Portsmouth, where I walked in the Summertime. I said, ‘Bough and Flower, Leaf and Grass, Let them pass. Let them pass. Come back to me. Come back to me. And tell me, my Land is best.’ They said that, in the South, smoke pours from the mouth Of Hell that they’ve got hollowed out. I saw it for myself as all the leaves of Autumn fell. The mouth of Hell that they’ve got in the South. So silent, in the snowfall, in the winter, in the West To the Mountains, I wandered in the West. I called them by the Names that they had in ancient days, The Mountain range that sleeps now in the West. Wood and Water. Stock and Stone. Never go Home. I can never go Home. But I’ll look for you. I’ll look for you. To tell me I’m not alone. Oh, holy Rust. Turn foundation into dust. Oh, holy Rust. Holy Rust. Oh, sacred Flood. Wash away what we have become. Oh, sacred Flood. Sacred Flood. I walked through fire. I will wander through the ash. I will look for in the future what I looked for in the past. And, although I’m scared, I know that I have weathered worse. I have weathered worse. So we smash the gate and burn the flag! It’s the only choice we’ve ever had! Sound the horn and beat the drum! To industry, with Doom we come! With doom we come, with doom we come! To industry, with Doom we
6.
VI - Don’t Let Love Bog You Down Come on Lady, lay with me. In the shade of the weeping willow trees, we will be. Your eyes are like an amber dream, Hair the color of honey. Your skin tastes salty, like you just evolved and crawled out of the sea. Come with me and waste away. We will pick each other’s resting place. Darling, it’s okay. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid. They say even god does it, he’s been sleeping since that break on the seventh day. I’ve heard the worms inside your chest. Breathing down beneath your breast. And when you speak, you speak of death. Come on, file down your teeth. We will have no need for them if we never eat. Same day. Rinse, repeat. Never ending fever dream. No, I’m not exactly healthy, but I hesitate to call this a disease. Darling dear, make up your mind. I know it’s such a drag sometimes, but it’s fine. Open, open wide. We will sink together in the rising tide. No more worries. No more lies. Just drifting back to the black and brackish brine. And I’ve seen the candle that you light. Like a little specter in the night. I’ll follow you. It’ll be alright. Come on Lady, lay with me. In the shade of the weeping willow trees, we will be.
7.
VII: 03:36
VII Am I? Or was I ever? Alive Has the twilight? Always blinded my eyes? Is change really in the air? Or is there nothing there? Soon, it will all melt away. In the moon-shine-light of the day And if change is ever gonna come, Let it leave me numb. Let, let it be known If my heart stops? And I’m cold to the bone ~ No answer will ever be found As they carry me down What? What is my name? Tell me! Why, I’ve forgotten my name! Paralyzed as I watched it fading away! Oh my god! No! It’s taken my name!
8.
VIII - Shadow&Gloom Mother of mine! Mother of mine! I awoke in a sweat in the middle of the night! In the East, where the shadows lie, Where the dawn won’t come and the sun won’t rise! But, oh, this weight gets too heavy to bear. It crushes my lungs as I come up for air. And everything is soooo clear When I just disappear. Chemical bank! Chemical bank! My credit’s been shot at the chemical bank! And I just want ONE little taste, But everything’s rotten! Everything’s rank! It all boils down into poisonous ash, That rains down on me in a vomitous mass. And static is all I can hear So I just disappear. And now I’m having an out-of-money experience! This fever’s getting higher and I’m getting delirious! Elbow room! Elbow room? Can I get some elbow room? I just need to breathe for a minute or two, Can I get some elbow room?? I just want some fucking sleep! I’ve been writhing around on the ground like a cat in heat! And nothing is sacred or pure! So I just disappear! And now I’m stuck in the middle of a mass extinction event! The extinction of all of the good that they want to forget! They suck the light out from the room. (Shadow&Gloom) Mounted on creatures, eyes red and blue. (Shadow&Gloom) Oh, humans! Once humans too?! (Shadow&Gloom) Drag me down! Down into (Shadow&Gloom) I’m a heat seeking missile locked in on my doom! (Shadow&Gloom) My body’s a temple! My body’s a tomb! (Shadow&Gloom) Rise from the dead! Body exhumed! (Shadow&Gloom) Drag me down! Down into (Shadow&Gloom) Mother of mine! Mother of mine! Can you hear me? I’m losing what’s left of my mind!
9.
IX - To the West!! Unsatisfied. Incomplete. On solid ground. I’m on my feet. The streetlights call. Call out to me. They say, ‘Nothing will ever feel that good.’ And in my dreams, it’s in my hand. But it keeps slipping through the cracks, like grains of sand. I watch it fall. Fall out of reach. And nothing will ever feel that good. So when my eyes start rolling back, I’ll try to look into my mind but it all looks black. It fades away. My solid ground. And nothing will ever feel that good. Nothing can. And nothing ever should. So if you go, I understand. If you want closure, and you can’t find it here, I will wait forever. All things. All things come to an end. I know where I gotta go, but dammit! I want to know when! So I let it go. I let it go! I let everything go. I’m leaving the pain I have claimed as my own. It sucks, but I’m letting it go. And after me, the flood can come for all I care. And you can all go to heaven, or whatever, I won’t be meeting you there. They will carry me, carry me into the West! With the aches and the shakes and the sweats. If the weight of the world still sits on my chest, Carry me into the West!

about

"This tale grew in the telling"

I guess it was born out of a hyper-fixation on Tolkien and also my struggle with heroin addiction in younger days. It quickly became an all-consuming focus of my life, like, a huge mental roadblock that I was always *almost* ready to move past.

Anyways, I'm ready to call this project done, and ready to work on something else. Those of you who waited, thanks for your patience. I'm glad it didn't end up taking 10 years.

credits

released January 11, 2018

all songs written and performed by RENT STRIKE
John Warmb writes and sings the songs and plays banjo, guitar, and piano.
On IX, John is joined by the following friends:
Dakota Peterson, providing percussion and harmonies
Nicole Geller, playing electric bass and also singing harmonies
Will McPeek, playing the accordion on tracks 1&2,5,8&9
Duncan Tarr, bringing the upright bass in for tracks 5&6
Connor Meston, playing viola on tracks 3&6
Behind-the-scenes support was provided by:
Matt Waterman, who helped with early recording and forming and shaping (esp. VII)
and Jason Roedel at Elm Street Studios, who recorded, mixed, and mastered and brought this thing to life.

Other thanks go out to:
My mother and father
My sibling Grey, for help with the album art and lyric display.
The entirety of the DIY music scene and the homies in Lansing and elsewhere (Detroit, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Pittsburgh, Houston, etc)
I would name all the friends who helped, if I could. There are too many to list, too many to count. To the ones who helped shape this album, and the ones who helped to shape me as a person: Thanks for everything.

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RENT STRIKE Lansing Charter Township, Michigan

Lansing, MI based lyric-driven DIY punk rock. Highfalutin and heavy, irreverent and playfully nihilistic, RENT STRIKE delivers on a promise that no one asked them to make.

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