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Bark Your Head Off, Dog

by Hop Along

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about

Bark Your Head Off, Dog is, without question, Hop Along’s most dynamic and textured record yet. Self-produced and recorded at The Headroom in Philadelphia by Reinhart and Kyle Pulley, Bark Your Head Off, Dog features the familiar sounds that have always made the band allergic to genre: grunge, folk, punk, and power pop all appear, with inspiration from ELO to Elvis Costello to ‘70s girl group vocal arrangements. This time around, they’ve added strings, more intricate rhythms, lush harmonies (featuring Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian), along with a momentary visit with a vocoder.

Bark Your Head Off, Dog will be released April 6th, 2018 via Saddle Creek Records - under exclusive licence to us - Barely Dressed!

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released April 6, 2018

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Hop Along Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Known for their enigmatic indie-pop meets growling guitar grunge, Philadelphia's Hop Along return with their third full- length album Bark Your Head Off, Dog. Frances Quinlan (vocalist) has emerged as one of music's most unique songwriters. Frances is joined by Mark Quinlan (drums), Tyler Long (bass) and Joe Reinhart (guitar). ... more

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Track Name: How Simple
I suppose one who hasn’t seen 
the earlier frames could say 
I am advancing 
I am advancing 
Pale as a banshee sun— 
think I should stop checking 
myself out in the windows 
of cars, when I could see 
my future in her pictures of relatives 
  
How simple my heart can be 
How simple my heart can be 
frightens me 
  
Don’t worry 
we will both find out,   
just not together. 
  
Your hand was on me 
It seemed like you were 
being sweet 
Here I am, again 
at the reserve to drink 
  
It’s not that I thought 
like all of a sudden you change 
We were covered in each other’s snot 
in my childhood bed 
It seemed like we were being sweet 
Her pictures of relatives 
  
How simple my heart can be 
How simple my heart can be 
frightens me
Track Name: Somewhere a Judge
There you have it, the beginning 
and the end 
The intern’s shovel still 
covered in shit 
  
Death, indiscriminate drags off 
the newborn buck with the 
broken leg 
  
In the shadow of conversations 
had while I was asleep 
not to mention the years 
of conversations you’ve had 
without me 
  
Afternoon vanilla sun 
crawls away across the lawn 
through the phone I pull you 
and drag your voice around 
Afternoon vanilla sun 
crawls away without a sound 
Through the phone I pull you 
and drag your voice around 
  
You don’t know I know what’s wrong 
  
Notification: 8 executions by drug 
to beat the expiration 
A shelf life of reason, is that what 
this was Arkansas? 
Somewhere, a judge stretches himself 
out on fine tropical sand 
I went back to work then 
took the train home 
I saw a fire in the distance 
  
Afternoon vanilla sun 
crawls away across the lawn 
Through the phone I pull you 
and drag your voice around 
Afternoon vanilla sun 
crawls away without a sound 
Through the phone I pull you 
and drag your voice around 
  
I don’t know why 
I’m so mean each time I come to visit 
I don’t know why 
I’m so mean each time I come around 
Track Name: How You Got Your Limp
Poured the professor 
into a cab, avoiding 
as best as one can 
the voice of a 
doomed man 
condemning his students 
in my lack of power 
I knew him 
  
I can hear you; 
The whole bar can. 
  
The supervisor lied over the phone 
He never got up to check 
next door on that 
nineteen year old kid 
who came in to work, but was 
nonetheless reconvicted 
Over the counter, Nora told me 
all about it 
  
I can hear you; 
The whole bar can 
  
I know what you’d like me 
to say, but you got to do 
exactly what you wanted 
That’s how you got your limp 
All your strength came 
from her humiliation 
  
I can hear you 
I can’t do anything 
  
Quitting the bar 
perfectly understood in the end 
he will be leaving 
a garbage tip as his 
revenge 
Track Name: Not Abel
The whole town lined up 
outside the tent  
what those kids 
thought they saw- 
do you really want to remember this? 
Today, think of all the alien 
shots in the dark, that at one time, 
all at once, coexisted 
  
I mean aside from all the burning 
Hurry by the shanties beside the road 
  
Sunset on a cart 
pulled home by a white horse 
Conscience of the husband 
was righteous and coarse 
There must be a limit—if 
we only circle around 
there’s no hurry in reaching it 
  
Shirt bloodstained and yet it was 
not Abel but Cain 
who got to hear 
the voice that for so long had 
been a stranger 
Not one word of all the time 
They spent growing up brothers 
Even love 
Yes even love, something to lose 
What if the details there 
were suddenly shared? 
Tender moments siblings keep secret 
  
Sunset on a time 
when no words could 
be spared. Unknowing 
mother rocks soft 
in her chair 
There must be a limit 
This has happened 
This will happen 
This is happening 
  
Voice on the radio again 
strange to be shaped by 
such strange men 
It’s the hottest summer again 
Strange to be shaped by 
such strange men—but where 
will you go? where 
  
Where? Where? When 
you asked me that question, 
it sounded like a joke a 
rubber hand extended to shake 
Outside my kitchen the sound 
of fists on the door in 
the early morning light 
A death! So small  
and sentimental  
Daddy giving 
the middle finger to the Kodak lens 
when I saw her face she smiled, 
“I don’t know why I 
saved it all this time.”
Track Name: The Fox In Motion
The youngest 
but that does not  
matter now 
she and her sister laugh 
I was asleep with my mouth 
open the whole drive down 
on a sheet 
on the beach 
small lunatic birds 
We watch them as they 
rush and retreat 
  
No, I wasn’t changed tonight 
or it has not yet been recognized 
  
When we saw the fox run 
just a few feet in front of us 
I thought something must be 
wrong; she looked like 
decay in motion 
We saw the fox run  
like a ghost 
lost and embarrassed 
I thought something must be wrong 
she must be sick 
  
Cousin take me home 
All the way off in the city 
His distant regret 
  
The youngest— 
but that does not matter now 
Her sister and I on 
opposite ends of the beach 
Island after island 
Go the thoughts within 
Each of us off on our own 
in the dark scavenging 
me on my phone 
scavenging 
  
Cousin take me home 
All the way off in the city 
His distant regret 
  
How can I explain it 
having been seen 
What would that mean? 
Track Name: One That Suits Me
Meanwhile, the scientist, 
pounding on his skull 
his skull—two blew 
themselves away working on it 
In storms the general 
Grabbed him by his collar 
“Well you old crackpot, what 
have you got to say?” 
  
In an open field, man is guilty always 
mud is yellow and the ground 
is moving 
sun is yellow and the ground is 
moving. The ground is moving 
  
The century turned and your 
old man stumbled in 
saying, “Of course I am for peace. 
One that suits me.” 
  
For the first time 
the Captain’s at my side 
Look now, here the Padre comes 
here he comes 
about to go on his lunchbreak 
  
“Son, you and I both know 
the real criminal is time 
I understand your crime but 
what makes you think 
you’ve got the right 
to be young?” 
  
In an open field, man is guilty 
always. 
  
The century turned and your 
old man stumbled in, saying 
  
“Of course I am for peace. 
One that suits me.” 
  
And now the mother of 
them all, she is just 
about to fall 
In the history of man 
reality becomes softened
Track Name: What the Writer Meant
Gold, alone 
clinging to a stem 
Pretty soon this will be 
a skeleton 
Metropolises before 
silent and smoldering 
Above the wild giant wailed 
Never will I do that again 
  
So strange 
to be shaped by such 
strange men 
Elizabeth, explain what 
the writer meant 
  
That God is the one who changed. 
  
The General, 
Buck toothed, bright eyed 
frothing red. 
Baltimore, you on the floor 
me on the edge of the bed 
We saw him in one 
brutal gesture tear 
that rabbit open 
You turned to me, “Isn’t this 
Supposed to be for children?” 
  
So strange 
to be shaped by such 
strange moments 
Elizabeth, the train 
when will I see you again? 
  
Will you tell me your mind has changed? 
  
So strange 
was I shaped for just this moment? 
Elizabeth, explain 
what the writer meant.
Track Name: US-2U6-17-26308 - Look of Love
Jane Austen 
in the hospital 
Your handwriting on the legal 
pad was barely legible 
  
Waiting, I wonder if I 
could go all the way back 
would any of it still scare 
me for example the labrador 
down the street 
Mom carried me down 
from off the car 
Neighbor scolded I’d upset him 
every time he took off 
my thoughts got dark and menacing 
  
Go on Romeo, bark your head off 
My last terror of ignorance 
is still to come 
couldn’t quit it, you dumb dog 
chasing speeding cars 
I heard the engine  
and then you 
lay like a good boy 
on the hot summer tar 
  
That night, the awful relief  
Now, what  
are ya gonna do to me? 
First symptom of guilt  
then became 
a permanent shame 
  
And now I can get close 
enough, close enough  
to see you’re  
overgrown  
with a look of love 
  
I still dream of spiders  
crawling across my bed 
The present, I have no place in it. 
I still dream of being watched, but 
not by—well, I know your 
thoughts on the matter 
we don’t need to discuss it 
  
Around 3 am you will come to 
your roommate’s pissed his 
sheets right through 
years from now,  
you will build beautiful  
black flowers 
  
I came home and you directed 
with your hardened hand 
all of your birds who have 
come back to dine and rest 
in your garden again 
They’ve come to rest 
in your garden 
  
Now I can get close 
enough, close enough to 
see you’re overgrown 
with a look of love. 
  
Bark your head off, dog 
Track Name: Prior Things
Just a few minutes after 
taking them, I realized 
hundreds of buzzing flies 
were all over me 
  
I looked up and there you were 
reading 
You were on vacation 
vacation means leave 
means obliterate all prior things 
  
Here, why don’t I try 
why don’t I try to make you mine 
why – is a lack of imagination 
the crime? 
why don’t I try 
why don’t I try to make you mine 
why don’t I back you up against this 
moment 
  
So when you finally go 
when you choose to go 
I resume my little lower road 
and nobody needs to know 
will know that I ever meant 
to leave my  
little lower road 
  
I watch the bird feeder 
out back in my parents’ yard 
the weight of that bluejay 
the bully steals it all 
  
And what must happen in your mind 
when you create those silences— 
Nevermind, I don’t want to see 
I know it’s got nothing 
to do with me. 
  
Here, why don’t I try 
why don’t I try to move aside? 
I’m still soft 
I’m still in my prime 
Why don’t I try 
Why don’t I try to move aside 
I’m still soft 
it’s still my time 
  
And when you finally go 
when you choose to go 
I resume my 
little lower road 
Nobody needs to know 
will know that I was only 
holding your place on this, your 
little lower road 
 
Your little lower road 

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