Piling It On

by Jason Alarm

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Jason Alarm is:
David Birdsall - Keys/Synth
Pat Hogan - Bass
Kirk Mason - Drums
Alex Rosendall - Guitar
Matt Waterman - Vocals/Guitar

Recorded by Joe Reinhart @ The Headroom in Philadelphia, PA
Mastered by Ryan Schwabe
Artwork and Photography by Pat Hogan & Kirk Mason

Drums - Damon Depew (Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,8,10)
Bass/Vocals/Guitar - Isaac Sprague (Tracks 1,2,4,5,6,8,10)
Lyrics - Daniel Ryan Balderas (Track 1)
Rhodes Piano - Kim Vi (Track 2)

Additional Tracking:
Shane Woods (The Headroom)
Jarod Emison (Lansing Public Media Center)
Matt Waterman (The Fledge)

Packaging - Mark Voldeck

Thanks to:
Joe Reinhart
Jerry Norris & The Fledge
The Devil's Cut
Family and friends who have been with us from the beginning


released December 10, 2016



all rights reserved


Jason Alarm Lansing, Michigan

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Track Name: Monica
Off on campus stands a tower ringing through its victory song
While the women at a premium are hounded into dawn
I was glad to be a cog who just watched it from my lawn
It isn't hard to feel included if you consciously lose sight of moving on

And there you were hung like a prism so believable and bare
Through the miasma of our linens and our endless questionnaires
I wish the day could have grown darker before you went and compared me
To the future and a moocher but I'm trying not to care

'Cause it was hard to retain the benevolence I knew way back when
Upperclassmen called us fagots
And hard to recall when the marching band all hailed us burnouts
And hoping you'd comply with how I
Turned out and what has transpired
The keepsakes I've thrown in the fires I burn to keep my world from shutting down

After all life's so long
And you're getting old now Monica

Four months later I was streaking five blocks over
With a waitress with weird earrings and composure
Sipping chasers in a jeep behind a Kroger
While someone straighter and less sober was off reaping
The foreclosure of your skin and brain
But all of that seemed briefly painless
Lodged between a woman and a wall

I can tell what's missing as im listening to the air blow through the caravan from mountains dressed like Stevie Nicks
The city is coughing at me like some funny calliope nearing the end of I-76
And I have played by ear to every medley since the day
Somebody's brother
Caught the garter
But I'm not one to hang around and barter
You know I'll be off pushing a little harder
With a vision of you young and pre-departed
When there was dying left to
And with my pupils deeply fixed inside a luminescent glaze
I'll know that I could have made it out here by the time you went and changed me
From a phony to a loony but I'm trying not to cave
Track Name: Grand Haven
Feet are scraping by the water
Smell the smoke the sickly darkness
You an ever-kissing daughter
Energy I could not harness
Here or anywhere
Not here or anywhere

Water vapor grips your ankles
Legs unshaven like a cactus
We could let our lives untangle
But it's going to take some practice
Backs against that dying lighthouse
Singing songs about each other
Looking down the barrel of another unforgiving summer

I can't seem to get off that fence
Remembering the heads and the hearts you've bent
Paying for a change that we underwent
Hoping for a moment that we'll never get
And I know, I know
We're never going to leave and come back along
Hello, Grand Haven

Drowning in the white-hot spotlights of our dead-end conversations
Always just an inch behind the peace of mind that I've been chasing
Warn out from the beer we smuggled
Hoping for some kind of breakthrough
Listening to your rebuttal
To the promises I've made you
Here or anywhere
Track Name: Gates of the Bullpen
Early on an Easter Sunday
You tore the moonlight off the air
You had piercings in your nipples
And an oak leaf in your hair
Time and gravity are not retreating
Back into the clouds
When luck interrogates you
You've gotta move your own mouth
And when you rolled back onto campus Just as wise and just as sweet
You know the gates of the bullpen were unlocked and opening
I was tied up like the others
Seperating blood and meat

You were home from Tanzania
Everybody else was at the club
Forrest Gump was on your TV
I was probably in love
I know you had time to wonder
But you had no time for doubt
You've gotta learn where to run off
And you've gotta pick who to weed out
Now the months have folded over
Keeping to myself and driving into
Town to trace the trails you've painted
Here on Albert Street
Before the gates of the bullpen are as wide as they can be
And you have tied away my time inside a crafted memory

And when they roll back onto campus just as young and just as clean
You know the gates of the bull pen will be unlocked and opening
And with a spotless new emotion there for everyone to seize
Track Name: White Out
I've been taking swims in the midnight glow
Wondering what the frat house already knows
I take a breath try to let it go
Suddenly I'm bright-eyed and totally sure
Listening to the club queens prance and purr
Taking my shot that I might deserve
I know I'm probably as fragile as I ever was
Blind deaf and dumb from the lights and the buzz
Bragging about pulling myself off of the right route

'Cause I brought the whiteout
I can put back together every plan they pull apart
Know who I want
Know what I am

Kelly take a dip in the midnight sea
Fat friends gotta live vicariously
You can take it all, but there's a fierce fee
Chasing a consolation prize
Been that way since junior high
And I'm still trying to find where mine lies
And if our newfound crudeness has got you hooked
On justifying every last order you took
Then I can get behind the power of my own doubts

'Cause I brought the whiteout
And we can put back together every plan I pulled apart
Write in the dark, write in the dark, write in the dark
'Cause I brought the whiteout
Now I'm the beggar at the banquet in your heart
Know who I want
Know what I am

You don't want to be a racehorse up for sale
Just another face behind a veil
Another hi-five in a tall tale
But there's a lot of dough around these parts
To clog up any bleeding heart
You can easily just play your part or you could
Come Alive
Track Name: Tear You Up
We grew up in the arms of the west end
Now we've got a story to tell
Find it hard to believe me
When I pound on the vanity table and I'm crying for help
I've seen a million others drop dead in the heat
From Burt Highway to Cherry Street
So honey climb in
There's still rubber to spin
I've got a box of Franzia, I can plan my escape next week
And I'll tear you up

We rolled around on top of my Lincoln
'Til you had my blood on your shirt
Was it hard to forget that
If you have something to say to me now you better hope that it works
But when the tattered neon lights up your eyes
I'll pray to god for one more try
But it all burns out
Once you know where you're at
I can keep my mouth shut if you don't want to be hurt like that
And I'll tear you up

Near the football field in a bonfire blaze
All the kids melt bottles down into ashtrays
And in cars that were made when we were in first grade
All the hickies swim up to the surface through jet black veins
Is it wrong
To drown all of these people I've met with my sweat
When I'm just trying to move on
Will it even get me that farther ahead
'Cause in the next six weeks I'll make forty-two plans
When I leave town they will all boil down
To just eating whatever and fucking whoever I can
When I come home you'll understand
And I'll tear you up
Track Name: King and Queen
Rewind, 1998
Played in the basement while our parents drank
February throwing light away
Upstairs I turned down the lamp
Played your CD's in your room, watched you and your sister dance
Secondhand smoke coming down my throat and back up as I laughed

Back before we didn't take advice
Back before our spirits weren't so tender
You'd think I wouldn't remember

King and queen
Feet in the grass, heads in a backyard dream
The memory is wiped off clean

What I know for sure is that time turns all luck around and around
And it wore your parents out
Spent that night crying with your tongue in your mouth
You gave those high school nights away like everybody does
To the people that you thought you wanted
And you wonder how your hallow heart got so haunted

King and queen
Of places where we'd never want to be
The money spent at seventeen and on me
The memory is wiped off clean

Alcohol dried up your mother
Give that thought sunlight and water
Makes you wonder why you even bother
Watching TV getting high
Telling me how hard you tried
Making memories of barley getting by

We are the king and queen
The ones who no one ever got to see
Just sitting 'round a rotted dream
Lean on me
The simple life can be so mean
The memory is wiped off clean
Track Name: Who Will
I want to get you off in the back seat of your best girlfriend's Impala
I don't mind if I seem naive when you find somebody smarter
I want cigarettes and cookies
I just wish that we weren't so lonely
Oh my god if only

I want to break you in
I want to bleed you out
You know I'm trying to change
But I just can't right now
So I can't help but laugh
When people put you down
If I can't break you in then who will

I want to watch you cry in the mirror that you hung up for that purpose
If you're out of numbing agents I tend to have a surplus
You want pink balloons and fairies
I just you weren't so homely
Oh my god if only

You better get over it
Track Name: Underneath Your Eyes
I'm don't want to name names
Never mind I did it and I'm real proud of it
But I never did say
A word about those turquoise leggings on the stairs
There's a price on tonight
And I'm going down just like any other good martyr would
If I can keep you to myself without condition there's a mighty fine chance we can make it to the top for some air
I know something's boiling underneath your eyes but I'll take the risk
Just like any other good father would
Just like any other good brother would
And just like any other good lover would

There's a big ol' crack in my pint glass
Dinner's just rotting in the oven
I don't like to clean I dress up mean
I take a ride to the north side
Now there's purple air down in old town
I think we're getting closer to Hollywood
If you hold me right now this bridge could be the grave for the life I'll leave behind
Trust me I've been trying to pull myself away but I can't resist
Just like any other good father would
Just like any other good brother would
And just like any other good lover would

Do you think about me on Saturdays
When fate drags you the other way
I stop and stare I twirl my hair
Get lost in thought get left behind
And when your mom's away do you think about trust
And all that fuss people make about it
If you're looking for a good example of a friend you might as well just step in line
I know something's boiling underneath your eyes but I'll take the risk
And I don't understand the way you say goodbye but I get the gist
If the door is closing you should know that I still throb with happiness
Every time I sing about you to an empty room like this
Just like any other good father would
Just like any other good brother would
And just like any other good lover would
Track Name: Joann
She's tired of pulling weeds
Out from the cracks inside her skull
She's an important freak
She's tired of moving out
Every four months to somewhere worse
She takes another bite
From the boy of the week


Your mouth is boarded up
Her body kinder and cleaner than you had ever imagined
The room is filling up
With high-school heroes and thugs
You're not a fan but Joann is
Behind her perfumed skin
Pulls back one more mournful grin
Welcomes all the half-dead men and lukewarm gin
That help her redefine regret
And she ran from that house with a kiss on her neck
Smelled like an angel when you found her crying on the steps
Who would have guessed
Your heads on fire 'cause you're the only one left for Joann

Making the most of the violence
And the silence
And the streetlights crying on your car
And the fact that you're not drunk yet
And the one-to-one talk that you know you'll have
On the way back to her apartment
And the fact that you bought that movie she says she loves
And the drugs somebody gave her that make her think nobody cares about her but you
Oh poor Joann

Young fear lives in the air
The hormones float in your lungs
But her song's already been sung
And in the morning when she leaves to slam some sham with grand-am
You watch the time you spent deflate
And pray to god that you could hate Joann
Track Name: Piling It On
I spent the summertime
Fighting my wandering eyes
Biting on my tongue to pass the afternoon
Make-up shower sex
Thinking 'bout what came next
In an empty house the night before you moved
Wouldn't take that much to put the blame on me now

I woke up Christmas Eve
Tired of waking up
With a rotted hand still sleeping on your hip
You said you never felt a rush like that
You never found a place so warm
Wouldn't take that much to kill you in my grip
But it all amounts to just a couple kids now

Touching you whether we live or die
Now that we've been away for so long
I know you're smiling but you won't see mine
I never meant to take it that far

Keep piling it on
Keep piling it on
Until we've moved on

I got a little bit after all
Had a little too much too soon
Wouldn't take that much to put the blame on you
I'm a little bit older now
Holding this weight wore my shoulders out
And it feels so good to finally put it down

Keep piling it on
Keep driving away
When everything decays
Keep piling it on