Overkill: Outtakes from the Empty Mirror

by Empty Mirror

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about

"Empty Mirror’s blend of noise, bleak country and disc two from Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie set got them flagged as self-releasers to invest in, and ones who looked capable of going far. Instead, though, they went critical, collapsing after two EPs and an album of contemplative, renegade rock songs. Grant Valdes was last seen recording videos of himself reading letters by E. Martin Shotz. Investors were seen booking taxis, their nightmericana dreams in ruins." CokeMachineGlow

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Overwhelm, we present these demos, live performances, and studio outtakes from the Empty Mirror -- a band summoned forth in 2005 at Oberlin College that spun apart in 2009 in Seattle -- a failed band that left behind some solid work.

credits

released August 11, 2018

Kerry Kallberg
Bill Kim
Patrick Landreman
Eddie Mendoza
Justin Pascua
Ante Ruich
Pete Steffy
Grant Valdes

Unless otherwise noted, guitar, singing and songwriting by Grant Huling (f.k.a. Grant Valdes). Textural overdubs added in 2018 for your listening pleasure to nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 & 15. Remastered in 2018.

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all rights reserved

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about

Empty Mirror Ohio

Born Oberlin, Ohio, 2005. Died Seattle, Washington, 2009.

Revived in 2018 for two posthumous releases: The Mere (the LP we had started when we broke up, completed as intended) and Overkill (outtakes spanning the life).

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Track Name: Unanimity [Franz Schubert cover]
Unanimity
Is a unity of curse
For miles
Following the first

You'll be cattle
You'll have use

I see how you treat your likeness
And I see how you treat the truth:
Named them after you

Regularity
I have set a pattern off
Big smile
Walking off the dock

You'll be cattle
You'll have use

I am not where you call "Seattle"
And I am not what you call a "friend"
I am neither in the now nor dead.
Track Name: I'll Save You All
Listen up
Ratchet up
Latch onto me

Sinking
You can't see more
Rafts in the sea

They've done nothing
To earn your sympathy
No one's watching
So be what you believe

I'll save you all
Transform the fall
I'll save you all
It's rational
I'll save you all
I'll save you all!

Have you lived it up?
Would you give it up?
Would you bleed our blood?
Expect
To preserve the light
To whittle down your life
Kill the power like you're next
Hell yes!

I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
I'll save you all
Track Name: Thinking in Tongues [alternate version]
One thinks what one will
Sure do love you all the time

At least eat what you've killed
I'm consumed by my desire

I know I want you
I can feel the fire
Dying every night

Thief and a lover
Think: Do you love her?
You live your answer
You live it up
You feed yourself to chance

Still I love it half the time.
Track Name: Self-Consumption [demo]
We're consuming ourselves
In a last-ditch sell-off of the unknowns we once were meant to achieve

It is never too late
Reevaluate
You're making the self you are expecting to be

I know you and you know me and I know everything
But we don't know ourselves
I know you and you know me and we know everything

We're consuming ourselves.
Track Name: Zeppelins in the Fiery Sky [live at Studio Seven]
Come now
Come now
Wakened by fear
We're getting out of here
Getting out of here

Listen
They say
Judgement is near
We're getting out of here

Think back
Repent
What have you done?
He, he knows everyone
He's in everyone

So much fire
Surely He'll come
There's no other good explanation

They say we're alright so we're perfectly fine
They'll leave us alone to die

Clouds burn
Birds rain out of the sky
I, I can't die like this
Not tonight like this

Midnight
Red sky
The rubble is real
It has happened here

They say we're alright so we're perfectly fine
They'll leave us alone to die

The ending is written
It has to end right
We're safe even if we die

Before the rapture
And after the war
Disposed of rulers
We wait for the Lord

I feel no one.

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

Chinese zeppelins in the fiery sky
To your knees, hallelujah

Final summer to fiery fall
America

Save your soul with a "hallelujah"
To your knees, hallelujah

Break your foes with a "hallelujah"
To your knees, halelujah

They say that He's coming
The water's enough
Pray it up

The city is burning
By our invention
Give it up

You want to side with God
You want to side with God
You want to side with God
But Heaven breaks your law.
Track Name: Love [Smashing Pumpkins cover] [rehearsal]
To my mistakes
To my mistakes of cowardice
She shimmy-shakes
The jimmy-jakes of consequence

Born of the airs and dues
My airs of madness do decree
That it's okay
It's love

It's what you wanted to see
It's what you needed to be
What you needed to be
She'll make it up

Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love

[unintelligible]

I got my tools out
I got my hand
I got you

Whatever tools you have I know
Your hammer
I can't beat you

Cause I know you
You're love

[unintelligible]

Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love

And when I lost my mind
I knew I was in for a long time

Can I look up to you
As you look down on me
Can I feel into you
As you felt into me?
I can't help but deceive
I can't help but to be
For what you needed to need
She'll make it up

Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love
It's who you know
Love
Love

Love solves everything
Love!
Track Name: Peak of the Arc [dorm room]
Towers of will
Well-hidden teeth
These are my soul security

In her truth
In her truth
She has no use for you

Still you crawl
Bloody knees...
Track Name: Elephant Graveyard [live at Mr. Spot's]
In a separate attack five American soldiers were killed when a remote bomb detonated and spilled blood

You say
A thousand ways
That we'll stay
And it rips me again

Television film of a similar incident in Somalia sickened Americans over the U.S. mission there

You say
A thousand ways
That we'll stay
And it rips me again

Proclaim
Democracy
Moves forth
That it's taking root

Some body parts were raised and left hanging from a telephone cable while incinerated

"The fate of all Americans"
"The fate of all Americans"
"The fate of all Americans"
We share the same fate

You say
A thousand ways
That we'll stay
And it rips me again

Proclaim
Three-thousand graves
Pray tell
How will it end?

The White House
Vowed the U.S.
Would stay the course.
Track Name: These Boots Are Made for Walking [Nancy Sinatra cover]
You keep saying, "Wait 'til next November"
You keep calling me a spoilsport

There's a thousand things that I remember
A drop of blood upon a motherboard

Their boots are made for walking
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days their boots are gonna walk all over you

You're still buying when you oughta be hoarding
You're still trusting while I'm past collapse

They're counting on disease to bring the war home
Get a gun and not a boot behind your back

Their boots are made for walking
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days jackboots are gonna walk all over you

Are you ready, people?
Start talking.
Track Name: Jackpot [demo]
Ave Maria! She's an asteroid
Crashing into the only space cowboy who dared to look away

She's a karaoke model
She's a legionaire
She will down me in her bottle
Til I'm never there

Now I took a breather to hang with my boys
But if couldn't see her then I'd split my loins
You're dared to look away

She's a karaoke model
She's an act of faith
She will down me in her bottle
She's a master race

She's a karaoke model
She's an act of faith
She will down me in her bottle
She a master race

But why won't she put up a fight for me?
Chain my leg
Lord knows it just isn't right

Mean as a postcard from a candy shop
Tonguing me secrets when the camera cops
Dared to look away

She's a karaoke model
She's a millionaire
She will drown me in her bottle
Like I was never

But why won't she put up a fight for me?
Chain my leg
God knows it just isn't right
Why won't she put up a fight for me?
Chain my leg
But I know to put out the lights

Jackpot
You're the leader
I'm not
Jackpot
Don't stop
Jackpot
Deceiver of God
Jackpot
You're hot.
Track Name: Seizer [demo]
I let you violate Heaven's will
But now you've fucked with mine.
Track Name: LWB [live on WOBC]
Bend me backwards
You kiss me on my eyes
I waive my rights
I waive my rights
Mine are burnt
Mine are desensitized tonight

Burning apart outside of you
You'll freeze inside

I say, "yes"
You say, "yeah, I suppose"
It drains my time
It drains my time
In your bedroom
In your grave we're enclosed
Clarity
Charity

I guess it's something that you won't shake
Need my nights to turn you on
'Cause like won't break
Not this song

Burning a love outside of you
You'll freeze inside

Darling, I couldn't have tried any harder
Brave your life.
Track Name: Cross the Road [live on WOBC]
You meet me at Professor Street
Where suburban wonders crumble

They lost their battle to the weeds
That have punched right through their windows

Postmodern hope is spent
But will you still not repent?

Overgrowth lives across the street
See, that's our new location

No matter there's nothing to eat
It's our final destination

Take off your shoes and coat
Resolved, we'll cross the road
It's not a long way to go

Happy ends still have to end
Otherwise, there's no "amen"
Here's my motto, plain as you
Will ever hear one:
Join the end

So follow me across the street
Through woods unknown
I know, I know
The ground is cold
But lie with me
Atop the snow
And rest until
We're piled below
Above our guilt
Beyond all toil
Outside of fear
Below the soil

Amen.
Track Name: Shoestring Century [alternate version]
Gravel in the street
Shoestring century of abandoned pride

Remember how we laughed
Remember how the world watched
As Congress cried?

The other day
A motorcade
Kicked its dust
On my dead lawn

He read it to his son
But the history book is yellow, done
Acid won

He'd read it from his mind
But it never seems to be the right time
Past his prime

You want to play
That old game
And shake my hand
With my pride?
You want to say?
We say, "no"
We say, "no"
We say

Ride your ruckus
Ride your ruckus home
We say
Ride your promise
Ride your promise home
We say, "no"
We say, "no"
We see

Overwhelm
Overwhelm
Until at last you're
Overwhelmed
Overwhelmed
Until at last you
Overwhelm
Overwhelm
Until at last you're
Track Name: It Causes Me to Tremble [rehearsal]
Were you there when they killed my president?
Were you there when they killed my president?
Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble
Tremble
Tremble
Where you there when they killed my president?

Were you there when they took his brother, too?
Were you there when they took his brother, too?
Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble
Tremble
Tremble
Where you there when they took his brother, too?

Were you there when they sealed up the coup?
Were you there when they sealed up the coup?
Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble
Tremble
Tremble
Were you there when they sealed up the coup?
Track Name: Nixon's Lament
America, hear what I sing
We both want our freedom to ring
Where is my silent majority?
Why won't they speak up for me?

Why have they left me alone?
Brezhnev won't call the red phone
I know I'm not perfect like your Kennedys
All that I worked for was peace
All that I ask for is peace
All that I want now is peace.

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