Emotion Is Cringey

by Centre Negative

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    "Packed with post-ironic self-hatred and snarkily choreographed misery, and it suits their tunes nicely." - Yellow Green Red

    "As far as I'm concerned, it's another hit for ever/never." - Miranda Fisher, Casting Couch

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about

"An ever-changing cast of riff fiends led by Sir Michael McClelland . . . these are well crafted modern pop songs, chockablock with ideas and the pleasantries of punk noise. Marty Rev jamming with The Fall? Ya Ho Wha 13 led by an excitable Kiwi with casios? A Tall Dwarf in the Magnetic Fields? Or The vegetarian Manson Family of Auckland?"-Al Montfort (Total Control, UV Race, Dick Diver)

"Packed with post-ironic self-hatred and snarkily choreopraphed misery, and it suits their tunes nicely . . . They're a strange group for sure, pushing the limits of good taste without feeling like a tossed off waste of time." -Yellow Green Red

What form can you touch but the tangible? what can you phlex but the physical? what do you need but the needlable?

Yes, i'm talking about my body!

The same body that is routinely mowed down by an anxiety NOT UNLIKE that of our current capitalist moment. (badoosh). The same body host to petulant self-hatred of the most middle-class order (i'm looking at you, punk music!), and the same body that got a fucking cancerous, aka malignant, aka this-will-kill-you, tumour ripped out of its elbow this February, right outta the bone. yes, the body that made EMOTION IS CRINGEY by CENTRE NEGATIVE.

I'm still alive, god dammit, and I'm scared as ever. so HERE I AM, ON THE RECORD, TO PROVE IT:

-'shut up!!!!' is the certified grade-A hit
-'existential arrogance' is about most people
-'change is the most sincere kind of apology' is where i confess how shit i've been to folks (tuff blokes, prepare to fuck off!)
-'the bureaucrats are dying off' is a song of sadism, by a masochist, about the sadomasochists of the world.
-'fuck you' speaks for itself.

And more, of course!

You can thank New Zealand for suffocating all but what made it onto this album! you can thank a childhood of evangelical christianity for poisoning what would otherwise be an ordinary record! you can thank a cancer for destroying the god-anointed elbow that strummed all these songs all by itself! (and keep an eye out for the prosthesis-induced next album!)

This is for the suburbanites on shitty isles, this is for ex-evangelicals, and this is definitely for the amputees.

Oh, it's dinky alright.

Yours,
mikey x. negative

credits

released August 27, 2015

Center Negative is the music of Michael Mxxlelland (Team Ugly).

"It's self-recorded, and unfortunately, it sounds like it!"

Album's done via various combination of cassette four-track and reel-to-reel. Thanks to the undying Joshua Lynn (Thinkt Studios AKA my flat) for making it possible/passable.

Jonathan Pearce recorded track 4. Great guy!

MIC0057 (digital and cassette)

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Melted Ice Cream Christchurch, New Zealand

Melted Ice Cream is a record label and music collective based in and around Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Track Name: (secretly he's a racist)
THIS ONE ACTS ENLIGHTENED
AS IF BEING OLD MAKES YOU WISE
HE CAN CHEW YOUR EAR OFF
ABOUT POLITICS ALL NIGHT

BUT JUST COS HE’S OLDER
DOESN’T MEAN HE’S RIGHT
(WHEN) HE SAYS HE'S SEEN MORE
HE MEANS HE’S ONLY SEEN WHITE [1]

JUST WHEN YOU GET TO KNOW HIM
HIS AGE BEGINS TO SHOW
TURNS OUT HE’S NO DIFFERENT
TURNS OUT HE IS PROUD THAT

/ SECRETLY HE’S A RACIST
/ AND NOW HIS TRUE COLOURS SHOW
/ HE THINKS I’M HIS RACIST ALLY
/ AND IT MAKES ME FUCKING CHOKE

THIS ONE IS HILARIOUS
AS IF HUMOUR IS ALL HE NEEDS
FORGET COMPASSION OR TOLERANCE
OR RADICAL EMPATHY [2]

BUT JUST BECAUSE HE’S FUNNY
DOESN’T MEAN HE’S WISE
HE FLAUNTS HIS COMIC ARROGANCE
AS A KIND OF HUMAN RIGHT

BUT AS SOON AS YOU’RE ON HIS SIDE
THE TONE BECOMES MORE SNIDE
WHAT YOU SUDDENLY FIND IS
WHAT HE MEANS INSIDE IS

/ SECRETLY HE’S A SADIST
/ ANOTHER FUCKING HOMOPHOBE
/ HE CALLS HIMSELF PROGRESSIVE
/ BUT I CALL HIM A JOKE

THIS ONE IS MY FRIEND
IN MY WELL-CURATED LIFE
HE THINKS HE IS RIGHTEOUS
AND I THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT

BUT JUST COS HE’S SAYS HE'S LIBERAL
DOESN’T MEAN THAT’S WHAT HE IS
AND I KNOW WHAT HE IS

BUT THEN, WHAT GOOD AM I?
IF I DON’T CONFRONT HIS LIFE?
IF I CAN’T CHANGE HIS MIND
HE’LL THINK IT’S OKAY THAT...

/ secretly he’s a rapist [3]
/ just like most men are
/ he thinks he'll get away with it
/ cause he knows that so could i

I DON’T SAY A WORD
I DON’T SAY A WORD
I DON’T SAY A WORD
I DON’T SAY A WORD [4]

----

[1] ah yep, a classic cringer for sure right here folks. this'll make ya cringe just like the old days

[2] well this shit right here is bad enough to be a sonic youth lyric

[3] ah god, i've got a feeling this one will come back to haunt me. fingers crossed i don't come out of this looking like a heavy-handed righteous fool!

[4] hey, nobody's perfect
Track Name: under the influence [chris knox cover]
WANNA LIVE HERE, WANNA LIE HERE
WANNA HEAR THE VOICE OF MY DESIRE, GROW HIGHER
LOVE’S AROMA, LOVE IS BOLDER
LOVER’S LANGUID ARMS THAT WOULD ENFOLD HER, UNHOLD HER

RA RA RA ETC [1]

SHALL I WET YOU, SHALL I WARM YOU
SHALLOW WORDS OF LOVE MADE TO ADORN YOU, SHOULD WARN YOU
MAY I TOUCH YOU, MAY I FEEL YOU
MAY THE MURMURED TRUTH THAT WOULD REVEAL YOU, CONCEAL YOU

RA RA RA ETC

HAVE WE FINISHED, HAVE WE ENDED
HAVE OUR TENDER PARTS IN FLESH DISTENDED, BECOME BEFRIENDED
SHALL YOU MISS ME, SHALL YOU SEE ME
SHELLS ARE CLOSED POLITELY HARD AND GLEAMING, WE WERE DREAMING

-----

[1] who wrote this nonsense?
Track Name: the bureaucrats are dying off
NOTHING IN LIFE IS WORSE THAN DEATH
BESIDES HAVING A BOSS
BUT THERE’S NO JOY WITHIN THIS LIFE
LIKE WHEN A BOSS DIES OFF

THINK OF HOW HILARIOUS
IT WOULD BE TO SEE THEM WITHER
SO SELFISH AS TO THINK THEIR LIFE IS
MORE PRECIOUS THAN ANY OTHER

WELL NOW THE SCARED OLD WHITE DUDES
HAVE A DECENT REASON TO BE SCARED
THEIR FEAR OF BECOMING IRRELEVANT
/ IS SUDDENLY JUSTIFIED

NATURE’S GREAT CYCLICITY
IS CONFRONTING THEIR COMPLICITY
IN ITS COLD PRAGMATIC JUSTICE
IT'S NEITHER TRAGIC NOR EVENTFUL

I WON'T HAVE ANY SYMPATHY
FOR THEIR FUTURE WEEPING-CHILDREN
BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE EMPATHY
NOR MY WEEPING FUTURE-CHILDREN [1]

THE PROBLEM IS REPLACEABLE
BUT AT LEAST THE PEOPLE ARE NOT
THEY WON’T DIE OUT COMPLETELY
/ BUT AT LEAST THEY’LL DIE

IT’S NOT JUST RIGHT OR NECESSARY
IT’S ACTUALLY PRETTY FUNNY
I WISH THEM ALL THE BEST
AS THEY DISCOVER THE MEANING OF LIFE IS TO DIE

////

HOORAY!
THE BUREAUCRATS ARE DYING OFF

HOORAY!
THE BOSSES ARE BEING MADE REDUNDANT

HOORAY!
THE JUDGES ARE ON DEATH ROW

HOORAY!
THE FUMBLING ADMINISTRATORS ARE LOSING CONTROL

/////

IT MIGHT BE A TRAGEDY
IF THEY DIDN’T SO DESERVE IT
I RELISH IN THE IRONY
OF THE DEATH OF THE INVINCIBLE [2]

THEY COULD WRITE AN OPINION PIECE
BUT IT WON’T STOP THEM FROM DYING
THEY COULD CALL THE COPS ON IT
BUT IT WOULDN’T DO THEM ANY GOOD [3]

IF YOU THINK I’M CALLOUS THEN
YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THEIR POLICIES
IF YOU THINK THESE WORDS ARE CRUEL
/ YOU HAVEN’T HAD A LANDLORD

THANK GOD FOR DEATH BECAUSE
WITHOUT IT WE’D BE STUCK WITH THEM
THANK GOD FOR DEATH BECAUSE
WITHOUT IT WE’D HAVE TO LIVE WITH THEM

THE GOOD NEWS IS THEY’RE FUCKING OLD SO THEY’LL ALL DIE SOON

----

[1] my life was nothing until i learned how to rhyme 'children' with 'children'

[2] ...and then the day i decided to stop rhyming altogether. but a whimper was heard

[3] ...clap... ...clap...
Track Name: 7 octillion atoms
‘ aaa
‘ aaa
‘ 7 octillion atoms!
‘ 7 octillion atoms!
‘ 7 octillion atoms in the human body
/ the human body contains 7 octillion atoms
/ 7 octillion atoms! 7 octillion atoms!
/ ‘ oooww!!

——

‘ 7 ocTIlion atoms and not one of them fucking works!


7 OCTILLION groups of electrons and protons and neutrons all working together in one big collection conspiring to make me feel pain!

and not won of them fuckinworks

======





/
/ ‘



'
Track Name: fuck you
I SCAN THE ROOM LOOKING FOR LUST
AND IT IS YOU THAT I WANT TO FUCK
WHY DOES MY MIND DRIBBLE THIS WAY?
CAN’T I EXPLAIN WHY I’M THIS WAY?

I AM NOT PUNK, I AM JUST CONSERVATIVE
EVEN IF IT MAKES ME FEEL SICK

ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU
ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU

HERE I AM NOW, SO FULL OF SHAME
I TREATED YOUR MIND LIKE IT WAS A GAME [1]
I TREATED MYSELF TO YOURSELF
WHY CAN’T I TREAT YOU LIKE A PERSON?

ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU
ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU

CHANGE MY LIFE, TOUCH ME HEAPS
FEEL MY SKIN, CHANGE MY SHEETS
MY DESIRE TO FUCK IS FUCKING ME UP
SO I THINK IT IS TIME THAT i get fucked [2]

ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU
ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU
ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU
ALL I WANT TO DO IS FUCK YOU [3]

----

[1] and sometimes the world wonders where real poetry went

[2] now there's a line i can agree with!

[3] powerfully intellectual stuff
Track Name: cute little poem for no​-​one
(instrumental) [1]

----

[1] finally!
Track Name: act natural
WHY ACT AT ALL? NOTHING’S NATURAL
CAN’T BE CASUAL AROUND THESE CATCH-ALL
JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND DRUG PRESCRIPTIONS [1]
THEY SAY MEETING, THEY MEAN PLEADING

JUST FOR STAPLERS TO FILE PAPERS
NEEDING SOMETHING (MEANS) BLEEDING SOMEONE
ACT LIKE SOMEONE NOT A VICTIM
BUT ACTING NEUTRAL’S NOT THAT USEFUL

ACTING NATURAL DOESN’T WORK

BE A HUMAN BEING FEELING
I HAVE NONE LEFT, LEFT HAS GONE RIGHT
LEANING TOWARD INTO BACKWARDS
MAKES ME SICK AND I FEEL SICKENED

I NEED MEANING NOT MISLEADING
NEVER KNOWING (WHICH WAY) UP I’M THROWING [2]
WHERE I’M GOING ISN’T SLOWING
BUT BEING DOUBTFUL ISN’T HELPFUL

ACTING NATURAL DOESN’T WORK

-----

[1] what the hell is a 'catch-all job description'?

[2] you know what? i don't even care
Track Name: existential arrogance
public confusion is caused by arrogance
mass annoyance is caused by arrogance
all aggression is caused by arrogance
the new zealand herald is caused by arrogance [1]

your opinion is caused by arrogance
your obsession is caused by arrogance
your hangup is caused by arrogance
your panic is caused by arrogance

my depression is caused by arrogance
my remorse is caused by arrogance
my worry is caused by arrogance
my anxiety is caused by arrogance

it’s time to kill existential arrogance

-----

[1] *lightsaber sounds*
Track Name: i didn't appreciate myself
I DIDN'T APPRECIATE MYSELF
I DIDN'T APPRECIATE MYSELF
I DIDN'T APPRECIATE MYSELF
I DIDN'T APPRECIATE MYSELF [1]

----

[1] and with good reason, too!
Track Name: mark 10​:​25
I
JUST REALISED GOD IS WHITE
AT LEAST ACCORDING TO HIS FANS
WHO ALSO HAPPEN TO BE WHITE [1]

WHITE
PRIORITISES WHITE
AND WHITE-SUPPORTING VIEWS
WHICH THEY’D KNOW IF THEY READ THE NEWS

IT
SAYS IN THE BIBLE ITSELF
THAT RICH AND POWERFUL CROOKS
ARE NOT IN HIS GOOD BOOKS

AND
MOST WEALTHY DECISION MAKERS
ARE OF EUROPEAN DESCENT
AND THEY DECIDE WHAT THE NEWS SAYS [2]

THEY
SAY GOD’S THE ONLY JUDGE
BUT THEY ACT LIKE THEY’RE THE JURY [3]
AS IF THE TRUTH WAS NEVER BLURRY

IF
I’VE REALLY GOT THIS WRONG
AND THERE IS ANY DOUBT
I’D LIKE TO CHECK HELL OUT

IF
THEIR BIBLE PROVES ME WRONG
I WANNA HANG OUT WITH THE HICKS
AND POOR DISABLED KIDS
JUST LIKE JESUS DID [4]

----

[1] all these white people sure are making me mad! grrrrrrrrr

[2] grrrrrrr!

[3] grrrrrrrrrrr!

[4] in fairness, what *wouldn't* that guy do?
Track Name: profitable and desperate
I’M JUST A SHILL FOR A WESTERN DEMOCRATIC IDEAL
AS IF POP MUSIC CAN BE PURE WHILE BEING MADE TO SHIFT UNITS [1]
BUT WHILE WE BUY THESE SONGS AND THEIR ARROGANT LIES
I’LL TRY WRITE ONE THAT ISN’T SELFISH IN ITS PINING FOR LOVE

IT SHOULD BE WISE AND NEVER TRY TO SELF-AGGRANDISE
IT MUST NOT LEER TO JUSTIFY SOME MALE IDEA
IT WOULD DEPEND ON SELFLESSLY PRIVILEGING THEM
BUT THEN WHAT IF THAT THAT PERSON DOESN’T EVEN EXIST?

IT MAKES ME GROAN TO THINK I’LL LIVE MY WHOLE LIFE ALONE
BUT THAT'S HOW THIS SHIT SELLS, BY INSISTING WE CAN’T LIVE BY OURSELVES
MISPLACING SELF-TRUST, INTO LONELINESS AND SELF-DISGUST
EVEN IF SHE'S A MYTH, DOESN’T EVERYONE DESERVE A SONG LIKE THIS?

I MIGHT BE SILENT, A VICTIM OF A CATHOLIC ISLAND
WHO CAN’T EXPRESS ANY FEELING WITHOUT SHAME AND REGRET
BUT STILL I TRY TO MAKE A LOVE SONG NOT A LIE
IT’S ONE IDEA THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FOR A CHANGE [2]

------

[1] if only this clumsy piece of word-mess coulda better expressed my point: to believe that a vessel as obviously hollow as the pop-song form -- a consumer product, essentially; a messenger of western imperialist ideals -- could teach human beings how to live and love would not just be irrational, but a baffling contradiction of givens. pop music, with all its major chords and swoony catchphrases, is a cheap sloganeering attempt; a cute way to cheerlead white ignorance and passive exploitation. it should be no wonder that so many 'love' songs are just expressions of male insecurity when you consider that a society that profits from trampling its underlings might only want to present its normative desires as deserved. why else would the radio give us love, romance, and coupleness as a fantastically transcendental spectacle? even the most aware thinkers within music succumb to this, arrogantly staging their feelings away from the realm of politics as if it can exist free from scrutiny, floating in a mindless vacuum. at the end of the day accessibility of form is just a representation of our emotional selves: we all want to feel *deserved*, which is the saddest manufacturing of all. therefore, no matter how cathartic it might feel for a lonely shmuck like me to air his longings in bursts of happy-endorphin sound, it'll never be broadcast beyond those eardrums poisoned by music that serves as a soundtrack to a society that profits off this kind of complex. the greatest tragedy in this tragedy is that this pathetic cis white male still bothers to try.

[2] ugh! who the hell does this guy think he is?