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Comrade Fever Dream

by Hard Red Spring

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Winner Every Time (Darin Barney) The barker saw me coming He said: “Win one for the lady” I wouldn’t call it robbery But it felt a little shady A dollar down, I took my shot He stared into her eyes And just like that she walked away With the consolation prize There’s a winner every time A winner every time Put your money on the line Cause there’s a winner every time The Tilt-a-Whirl and the Johnson girl They’re headed for disaster But secretly they both agree To go a little faster When it stops he puts his arm Around her waist like this And her mouth smells like cotton candy Wrapped around a kiss The demolition derby cars Are all stuck in reverse They’re wrestling at the Agrodome But I’d swear it’s been rehearsed And over at the Ferris wheel They’re trying to decide If ending right back where you started Is really worth the ride
Medicine Hat Sunday Morning (Darin Barney) Medicine Hat Sunday morning The bedrooms all smell of regret And vows they wish they had remembered On nights they wish they could for get She roots around for her stockings Covers him up with a sheet Takes the cab fare from his wallet And he pretends he’s still asleep He dreams of the banks of the south arm Fishing for nothing at all She settles up with the motel Checks if she‘s had any calls He drops a fly in the eddy She thinks of something to say Both of them leave empty-handed ‘Cause nobody’s biting today Is it just me, or was it cold this year? It’s been a while since we had a chinook I’m sure it’ll warm up by the time you get here And the spring will come early And it will be golden Golden again Caribou Diner on Main Street Victor props open the door Sweeps up the glass on the pavement Mops up the blood on the floor Fires up the grill and the coffee Throws back a thimble of gin Ties back the strings on his apron And waits for the world to roll in The terminal opens at seven She didn’t make it ‘til nine It took her two hours of praying Before she could make up her mind “Will that be return or one-way? And will it be cash or a card?” She empties her purse on the counter Lays down what’s left of her heart
Sister Treasure Chest (Charles Acland) Sister Treasure Chest Bury me with all the rest Sister Salty Soul, I’m here Sister Salty Soul You’ve captured everything I stole Sister Frozen Gaze, I’m here I’ve packed up everything you’ve given Placed them neatly in my gunny sack My intuition’s keen I know where you’ve been Because I dream you there Sister Frozen Gaze You’ve strengthened since those ugly days Sister Lighthouse Flame, I’m here Sister Lighthouse Flame I know you’re not the only one to blame Sister Sinking Ship, I’m here You flew a flag to say I’m welcome Won’t let you slip through my thinning arms My intuition’s keen I know where you’ve been Because I dream you there Sister Sinking Ship Next port you see will complete the trip Sister Ocean Blond, I’m here Sister Ocean Blond, Rocky shoals are far beyond Sister Treasure Chest, I’m here
Red Oxana 03:21
Red Oxana (Darin Barney) Hangin’ out with Red Oxana And the Lucky Bird On the banks of the Fontanka That’s a Russian word Hard to say the time of day It’s always dark ‘round here Dropping dimes and nursery rhymes In Pussy Riot gear There’s rock ‘n’ roll on Nevsky Prospekt It’s wearing skinny-leg Levi’s And everybody missed the last train So they could watch the bridges rise Pretty city built on bones And golden empire schemes Decembrists and Soviets And comrade fever dreams It ain’t even close to cold Ain’t nearly winter yet Red Oxana blows a kiss And I can see her breath
Only Game in Town (Darin Barney) It’s opening day Let’s swing for the fences You can tell by his stance He’s a bit apprehensive A little something to settle his nerves For the sidearm delivery of Valentine’s unholy curve He lost his grip It slipped through his fingers And he summoned the gift Of a minor league ringer A little flair into the gap Good for a single, but no more than that It’s the only game in town “Hey batter-batter!” let’s move ‘em around At the end of the summer they'll be shutting her down It’s the only game in town Back at the house His wife gets suspicious When he kisses her cheek Or helps with the dishes Shows up for mass, but he’s always late Crosses himself like a slugger approachin’ the plate It’s a beautiful thing To bare-hand a grounder But it’s nothing compared To the light that surrounds her Sun hanging low out in left field Stretching his lead, fixing to steal
Lipstick Traces (Darin Barney) It’s win, place or show At the Hastings Park races And 18-to-1 On Lipstick Traces She came outta the gate Like an innocent man outta jail But as she turned for home They had her boxed-in on the rail She crossed the line In a great flash of silver They bred her to run But it never fulfilled her So she threw her rider And he fell from a great height And she took a pass On the Winner’s Circle tonight He can’t recall names Or remember faces But he can’t forget Those lipstick traces That ran from her lips Onto the back of his hand The night he came home from the track And found her like that You bet your life It’s a two-dollar wager And it might come in But it won’t erase her The Parade to the Post There’s a filly that’s just off the pace And something about her Reminds him of a lipstick trace
Dunnes Stores Striker (Darin Barney) I had a crush on a Dunnes Stores Striker I had a feeling she was sweet on me I saw a picture and it looked just like her Cover of The Red Star magazine Rebel Girl with her flag unfurled Scarlet standard high A mighty cashier standing there With her fist raised to the sky I had dream about One Big Union One Big Union on the picket line Holding hands and holding meetings Making plans for the General Strike I had a dream about One Big Union One Big Union on the picket line I had a crush on a Dunnes Stores Striker I had a feeling she was sweet on me
Equal to You 03:59
Equal to You (Darin Barney) I’ve been with the cops I've been with the robbers I stood by the champ On the night he got clobbered I married a starlet I worked the machine I crawled home for water I stole gasoline I stood underneath as the scaffold gave way And the ropes on the load let go and it started to sway I came in from the cold, decided to stay for a while And the blow I delivered was low but it missed by a mile I made the Top 40 I slept in my car I went down the road But I didn't get far I’ve taken liberties I’ve taken blame I’ve been to the warning track Late in the game I lied to my parents I rode with no hands I fell on my sword And I broke up my band But never before And I swear that it’s true Did I ever encounter The equal to you
Out Through Your Window (Charles Acland) Come out through your window Come slip through the yard The moon will be waiting It won’t be that hard Come slide down your drainpipe Be careful of the brick I’m not a magician And this is no trick The taxi is waiting He knows where to go Just slide to the back seat Let the lights dance away I want you home I’ve played to your memory I’ve toasted your soul Cheers to this whole wide world I’ve made out of coal Time is a-wasting The night’s almost through There’s a tattered bundle Of promises for you
Everyone Loves Queros (Matthew Hunter) I met you at the t’inku that we had last year You were standing by the urpu, dishing out corn beer I asked you for your number, so I could contact you But I still haven’t learned how to read quipu Everyone loves queros, they’re giant Inca wooden cups Everyone loves queros, they’re giant Inca wooden cups Queros for me, queros for you For the Sapa Inca and the Tupac Amaru Everyone loves queros, they’re giant Inca wooden cups Well, I followed the ceque line to your moiety But I’m from a different ayullu and your daddy don’t like me He still remembers that time when we went up to Oaxaca And I came home, but I forgot my huaca
Liquor Store Boxes (Darin Barney) The story’s too long So here’s a synopsis: It ended in fisticuffs And liquor store boxes And permanent markers For writing their names on the side They met at a roadhouse Where he was a regular She ordered a Ballantine’s And went for the jugular And it was a gusher Look, there’s the stain on the floor It always ends in liquor store boxes Worn out cassettes and absent comrades It ends in broken sofas on sidewalks Liquor store boxes and classified ads It might’ve been Christmas Or maybe Thanksgiving When she popped the question About making a living And darkness descended Like somebody shot out the lights It was a cluster bomb A suicide mission A chemical accident Head-on collision And all the King’s horses Looked at the pieces and ran That was a plough-wind It wasn’t a twister And no one remembers If he even kissed her But she came up swinging Swung herself right out the door His name was Ricky That’s short for Ricochet Her name was Polly That’s short for gone away Famous together But that was a long time ago


Comrade Fever Dream is the debut album by Montreal rock 'n' roll outfit Hard Red Spring.


released October 6, 2017

Carrie Rentschler - drums, percussion
Charles Acland - piano, keyboards, guitar, vocals
Jonathan Sterne – electric bass, ukulele bass
Matthew Hunter – guitars, vocals
Jenny Burman - vocals
Darin Barney – guitars, keyboards, kazoo, vocals

Words and music by Darin Barney and Hard Red Spring, except:

Sister Treasure Chest and Out Through Your Window, words and music by Charles Acland and Hard Red Spring

Everyone Love Queros, words and music by Matthew Hunter and Hard Red Spring

Thanks to Ava Acland, Stella Acland, Nicolas Clemesac, Lisa Henderson, Antonia Hernandez, Maria Kochkina, Caitlin Loney, Laila Parsons, Jasmine Parsons, Rob Wisnovsky, Mary Stone, Eva Stone-Barney, Will Stone-Barney, Haidee Wasson, Alain Toussaint and Solo Drum Studio.

Recorded by Peter Woodford at the amazing Bottle Garden Studio in Montreal, 2016

Additional recording, editing and mixing by Jonathan Sterne (assisted by Carrie Rentschler) at Les deux chats, Montreal, 2016-17.

Mastered by the robots at Landr, with a good deal of human assistance.

Banner photo by Haidee Wasson.




Hard Red Spring Montreal, Québec

Hard Red Spring is a mighty rock band from Montreal.

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