Eastern Massachusetts is not in a good way right now, and trashy, hardcore locals Greylock and BEDTIMEMAGIC are going to tell you about it in the most harrowing way possible.
The two bands have very different styles, but both are committed to truth, living with intensity, and causing as much inner-ear damage as possible before the National Guard sends in a strike team to have them liquidated.
Greylock and BEDTIMEMAGIC’s new split drops February 12. You can stream one track from each group below, and then keep scrolling for an exclusive, track-by-track breakdown.
From Mike Moderski (Greylock):
“Do Not Revive”
This track reflects the isolation of substance abuse in a crowded city that doesn’t care about you. All while people travel long distances above you in what look like steel coffins. I also wanted this track to feel and hit like the fire extinguisher scene in Irreversible.
If you’ve had any experience with mental health workers, you’ve probably been prescribed medication by someone who believes they have an upper hand on you because you’re ill. Mostly, this track reflects the relationship and power dynamic between physician and patient. This has usually been a tightrope to walk and often leaves an individual wanting nothing to do with medication or mental health, ever.
“The Eighth Day”
With both of us being fans of film as much as music there’s no surprise a movie reference slipped into this release. “The Eighth Day” was an alternate title for the film Gattaca, so it seemed appropriate considering this song is about having lousy genetics in a world where we’re constantly pushed to be perfect.
The first show we played with BEDTIMEMAGIC was in a tiny Sushi bar near the North Shore of Boston. We had just finished our set, and I was taking a break outside to smoke a cigarette when someone came outside and said, “You have to see this; it’s two dudes in pug onesies!” To which I immediately stomped out my cigarette and went inside to watch their blistering set. I was hooked. “King Size” is just an awesome song so I was glad we got to slow it down and noise it up a bit. I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore, so please don’t ask me for one.
Most mornings, I can’t get out of bed. My eyes open, and a paralyzing panic immediately sets in. Even writing this now in the late afternoon, I’m reminded that it took me two hours and two glasses of cold brew coffee to get me energized to start the day. My feelings get dumbed down so much so that I feel as close to what I could imagine “Nothingness” being. In this track, I try to drag you down to the well I’ve sealed myself inside of, devoid of hope and completely enveloped in blankness.
From Nicholas Pentabona (BEDTIMEMAGIC):
Morgan and I are strong advocates of the “short, fast, and loud” school of songwriting. This song seems like a good example of how that fleshes out.
I was talking with Morgan about “shuteye,” and what stands out for him with this song was how we wrote the lyrics. My original song was, as he put it, “mixing metaphors”; I was talking about one topic but doing it in several different ways, at times in direct conflict. He wanted a “metaphor highball,” not a “metaphor cocktail.” I brought him the words, and he re-drafted them to be more linear and cohesive.
The song is about a job I had right around the time my daughter was to be born. We had this young girl there that was really green but also amazingly intuitive right off the bat. She had a knack for trying hard and getting back on the horse if she fell off. Unfortunately, one day, she came to me and said she absolutely needed to quit.
The owner had been non-stop texting and calling her, asking her out, making her feel like shit. It was actually quite sad. I was stuck—we needed the income, but then, by staying in the mix, I’m tacitly condoning this dude harassing her even when I speak up. It was really a piss-poor feeling, lose-lose. Still not sure how to make the right decision when I mentally revisit that situation.
Morgan also pointed out that the ending took shape differently than when we first started writing. I wanted a hook for the beginning section that was like an arpeggio jumping into a thick chord. That part held up. The ending, though, was more of the same concept, and I could see the look on Morgan’s face as time went on. He has what I call “James Brown Face.”
The Godfather of Soul was known for making signs to his band that would secretly let them know they fucked up. Morgan makes faces like that, where you can tell there was something that wasn’t on the mark. He proposed we chase the ending, go after it like we’re nearly falling apart. Makes the song feel more in line with the lyrics.
Usually, we have a good sense of humor tucked into our songs. Especially “Midnight Snack” or “Tucked In,” which aren’t veiled at all in how ridiculous they are. For this split with Greylock, it seemed inappropriate to make such jokes. Mike’s lyrics are very serious. This was an opportunity to mirror his gravity.
I’m obsessed with funeral dirges and requiems. Writing a song, you might never hear played for you, or that the recipient may never hear, about something you’ll never be able to truly understand … it’s a mindfuck. The music for this one came first, but I wrote those parts with the expectation of the line “we are born to be forgotten.” I fleshed out the rest of the words once the music began to coalesce.
The lyrics were inspired vaguely from some article I was reading online. They found this mummified body of some king, or pharaoh, or something like that. The article spoke of his exploits, his role in the world long ago. I asked myself, though, where the fuck was all of this information ten years ago? It was lost. No one cared or knew. And even if they did, it’s probably all bullshit stacked on bullshit … Guy was probably a dickhole, and now we’re talking about him like he was a deity.
In the end, the “third death” is the real kick in the sack … where we’re just totally forgotten. Like we were never here. What’s the point of anything? We become dust. Every generation has all these people whose lives evaporate. Bummer.
Do you remember that Coalesce/Get Up Kids split where Coalesce did “Second Place,” and The Get Up Kids did “Harvest of Maturity” but in each band’s own style? First of all, that was the shit. Second of all, it’s hilarious. “Harvest of Maturity” became something crazy different.
I’d proposed the idea of doing something like that to Morgan, and he seemed hip to the game. We were talking with Greylock about a split with that idea in mind … I think the conversation started when we played down in Rhode Island at DUSK, but I can’t totally recall … and it morphed into us picking songs from each other’s catalogue that would work. It was a toss-up between “Wagon Jumper” or “The Joy Virus.” “Wagon Jumper” called out to us more.
Credit goes to Morgan almost completely with this one. My idea was to shoot through the song wacky fast. It sounded like dogshit. Really sloppy, really goofy. Morgan took the reins and said we should try to be BEDTIMEMAGIC on this track, doing BEDTIMEMAGIC things, with the Greylock tune as a template. That came instinctually. He’d said this before when we did Halloween cover sets; it’s logical to be yourself and be good at being yourself rather than trying to be, say, Pat Benatar. You can find the same end goal but in a way that comes through more sincerely.
Morgan had all these novel approaches to the lyrics, so we agreed he’d be the lead with vocals. He wanted this dueling, left-and-right thing with the end vocals; he had this plan for the bridge that I feel Alex Allinson helped bring to the foreground. It’s actually a pretty cool recording. My favorite part is the organ versus the chord shapes for the bass during the verse section.
A lot of people I knew growing up felt they had to hide who they were for fear of attacks or bullying. Even my father. He’s been with the same man for 37 years, but I remember him talking to me about it when I was a kid and saying I shouldn’t tell other kids at school. He knew a kid growing up that was so forced to hide his homosexuality that he hung himself.
When I got older, I witnessed the pain that the LGBTQ+ community goes through and how horrible it is having to pretend you’re someone you’re not because people could hurt you, chase you, ostracize you. It’s total bullshit.
I worked at a club in Central Square (part of Cambridge, Massachusetts) for a little over a year right after college. It was extremely open to all walks of life and all lifestyles. There was a BDSM night, a night called “Campus” for gay men … all sorts of stuff. Management were kind of goons but it’s great they could provide a place for people to be “free.”
I asked my father if he’d ever had a time when he went to club nights like “Campus.” He said no, that often times those nights provide an opportunity for younger gay mean to liberate their sexuality and that type of thing never synced up with his timeline. He said that having these very discreet moments to come out puts pressure to act beyond what people are comfortable with … to go faster into relationships or sexual situations for fear if you abstain, you’ll go that much longer without another chance.
That’s what I meant with the line “I hit the ground running / faster than I would have liked.” It must be hard to have to fit your true feelings into twelve hours at a time.
This track was a lot of Nicholas in its soul. I’d been wanting to write a song about my relationship to the LGBTQ+ community for a long time but had a huge amount of difficulty. I don’t consider this song 100 percent done … I think we need to record it again and get it right. I swore a lot in the studio, shoving my feelings over the last four years into this one track, this one session. That’s ironic, right?
“Now I Rest”
We wrote this song years ago. I walked into practice one day and said we needed to write a d-beat song. Morgan loves d-beat. You can bring him a band’s demo that has maybe four practices under their belt, and if it’s d-beat, he’ll go nuts for it. He said, “Oh, like this?” and played almost the whole original skeleton of “Now I Rest.” I was like, “Yah.”
Lyrics are about how my whole family, basically, has had cancer in some form. It’s on the horizon. It’s scary as fuck. I’ve lived my life on very short terms, and that’s been to my detriment. I’ve just been so worried that I’ll begin to enjoy myself and then find out, like my grandmother, that I have Stage Four cancer and it’s my time.
Get a copy of Greylock / BEDTIMEMAGIC Split here.