Comrade Fever Dream

by Hard Red Spring

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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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Track Name: Winner Every Time
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
Track Name: Medicine Hat Sunday Morning
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
Track Name: Sister Treasure Chest
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
Track Name: Red Oxana
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
Track Name: Only Game in Town
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
Track Name: Lipstick Traces
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
Track Name: Dunnes Stores Striker
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
Track Name: Equal to You
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
Track Name: Out Through Your Window
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
Track Name: Everyone Loves Queros
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
Track Name: Liquor Store Boxes
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

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