Milemarker really was once a punk band, honest; one full-length and a handful of loud-and-crashing EP's says it's the truth. At some point two or three years ago a new singer named Roby Newton joined the group, and brought her synthesizer with. As of the next LP (the pepto-pink covered Anaesthetic) their sound had changed completely, into a stunning amalgamation of new-wave, hardcore, math rock and punk. This song is the perfect illustration of everything they can do with their new style, the best track from one of my favorite albums in 2001.

Think about the song as a waltz between the jagged rusted rebar pinions of the apocalypse, with a rhythm in 12/8 time. Or as an examination of everything that's wrong (or right?) with an existence self-mediated through psychopharmacology. Or as an illustration of the power and possibility inherent in complex self-organizing systems: an ant colony, your brain, your body, the universe. Just think about it, and listen to it.

Live, this song is the climax of the set, played just before the end and with more theatrics than the rest combined. In the set I saw the whole band froze still after the preceding song, and was silent a full sixty seconds as the stage lights slowly dimmed. With as little movement as possible the musicians started the song with a kick drum hit and the first distorted but bell-like guitar pluck. Over the first couple of minutes the lights shifted brighter and the movements stronger, while the beat and dynamics stayed rock solid just where they started, quite a multimedia surreality. All the instrumentation was tight, and Newton did her best warbling Bjork imitation, sounding completely different from the album version.

an ant scientist sits at his desk
tries to decide which buildings should face east and which west

aversion to a hardened heart is giving him pause

he's an ant architect, a meteorologist
of mood swings, and other things, which shouldn't be measured

if the brain is the engine and the heart is the carburetor
and the legs are made of rubber and the spine is made of pipecleaners
we can build our own people in any way we choose
we can push our own buttons like adolescent gods
we can bask in the glow of the new synthetic sun
the casket you know is the most comfortable one
we can suture the future shut like a cut
we can build epic structures (COPULATE AND POPULATE!)
we can suture the future shut like a cut
we can replicate structures which replicate us
death new prank in a leisure suit and try as he might
fails nightly, fails miserably

eyes are calling me from the back of a magazine
pre-simulated city with near living things

his fear of death is intense as he crushes the ice
wherever there's a freedom there is no one to apologize to

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
(repeats until end)

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