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Bark Your Head Off, Dog

by Hop Along

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1.
How Simple 03:48
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
2.
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 
3.
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 
4.
Not Abel 04:36
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.”
5.
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? 
6.
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
7.
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.
8.
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 
9.
Prior Things 05:42
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 

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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