Ashley Reaks & Joe Hakim - Cultural Thrift

by metal postcard records



Cultural thrift. Put your point of view to bed. Cultural thrift. They’ve been lying to us, so we’re lying to you. Cultural thrift. The organ of failure, the phantom limb syndrome of regret. Cultural thrift. Music makes mediocrity sufferable. Cultural thrift. My soul is clenched. Cultural thrift. Poetry makes a mockery of us all, watch quiz shows and play video-games instead. Cultural thrift. No one’s listening. Cultural thrift. You can pay a hundred to get it out today, or pay twenty to leave it until next month. Cultural thrift. The soundtrack of anxiety. Cultural thrift. A pound-shop promise. Cultural thrift. Waves of amnesia. Cultural thrift. The manifestation of will to affect change. Cultural thrift. I hate the sound of lawnmowers. Cultural thrift. Irony is your enemy, sincerity is bleeding out. Cultural thrift. Remember Jesus hates the money-lenders. Cultural thrift. A documentary about Hitler. Cultural thrift. One question away from the star-prize. Cultural thrift. Restricted access. Cultural thrift. Heaps of empty bottles on the pavement. Cultural thrift. Get good at science, struggle at maths. Cultural thrift. They’ve only gone and bloody well done it. Cultural thrift. No margin for error, no room for escape. Cultural thrift. The answer to a question we can’t be bothered to ask. Cultural thrift. Grow your own food. Cultural thrift. The gaps between tracks is where it’s at. Cultural thrift. You can’t teach a dog how to play chess. Cultural thrift. This obesity is infectious. Cultural thrift. It’s one rule for them, two rules for us. Cultural thrift. I haven’t eaten breakfast in over a decade. Cultural thrift. For when your knees hurt and your back aches. Cultural thrift. Look away now. Cultural thrift.


released September 26, 2015

Joe Hakim – Vocals

Ashley Reaks - Bass, Guitars, Keyboards

Maria Jardardottir – Vocals

Dave Kemp - Saxophones, Accordion, Melodica, Voodoo Guitar,

Nick Dunne - Guitar, E-Bow

All lyrics by Joe Hakim

All music by Ashley Reaks

Recorded at Active Audio Studios, Harrogate by Dan Mizen in 2014/15


all rights reserved



metal postcard records Sydney, Australia

Metal Postcard Records is an independent record label based back in Sydney and influenced by the likes of Fast Records / Factory / Postcard / Island / Stiff and Bill Drummund's wonderful Zoo records

We believe in new music from around the world ... not world music !
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Track Name: Nature Poem
Nature Poem

It’s the vast stillness of it,
the epic rolling green and brown,
the speckled rash of birds in the
distance and the rushing silence.
there is continuity and the
brutality of pure air
offset with the bitter-clean
aroma of fresh manure.
Trees are secured in fertile
soil, amid furtive teeming
multitudes of life that toil invisibly
around me.

It astounds me.

Terrifies me.

These lungs are used to sucking on
exhaust fumes and cigarettes.
The objects of my affections are
reflections in metal-shuttered
shop-fronts and the glow of
battered street-lights
caught in shatter-proof glass
bus-stops. My dreams are snagged
in sagging telephone lines,
my memories are red-brick
and terraced, as vivid as alleys
defaced by neon-coloured
spray-paint tags.
my feet drag me home
night after night, manufactured,
captured and spent, as they tread
on relentlessly devoured ground.
I’m surrounded by the mating call of
Anlaby Road’s traffic.

That’s my natural habitat.

I guess I’m just built like that.
Track Name: Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle
Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle

Falling off,
falling out,
within my mind
there can be no doubt
that everyone is
truly alone when
surrounded by the
clones of all the
showbiz phoneys,
cartoon henchmen
comedy cronies,

clinging on to the
faint hope that the world
will move towards
a clear horizon of

still living
in a society
that keeps
demanding that we
highjack a worldwide
in order to catch a glimmer
of authenticity –
as we make
ill thought-out points
about nothing in
surrender our vernacular,
in a desperate bid to
appear spectacular
in each other’s

by the sky as it grows
dark ,
but the stars
of possibility still twinkle
this light I see
travelling across
millions of years of space
in order to reach me,
two galaxies intermingling
and giving birth to
to renewed
stellar activity,
as a sensation
of inverted gravity
tires to pull me up,
but I continue
to look down
at feet still placed
firmly on the

there’s plenty
to be found
in our heads
other than the
existential dread
that waits for us all
at the edge of experience –

this might just the
soaking up ideas
and words
through our skin
each moment
of the day and night,
cogs and gears turning
as we prepare to take flight
into the firmament,
a permanent vacation
into the unknown –
the collective mind is blown
into a million pieces,
as all around us time and motion
and all that remains is
the fabric of thought
as it irons out its
Track Name: To Let
To Let

I’ve never really had a home
just a series of rooms in which I’ve stayed,
rooms in which ideas have played
in which dreams have decayed in

rooms where the hours have passed
where spells have been cast
rooms where I’ve lost my mind
white rooms
black rooms
rooms where I’ve been left behind

rooms where I’ve toasted the passing of the day
where my empty head can lay
rooms in which I’ve made love
blue rooms
green rooms
rooms in which bags are shoved

rooms with locked doors
with dirty floors
rooms where spirits have been crushed
red rooms
dead rooms
rooms where limits have been pushed

rooms where there’s something missing
where there’s no pot to piss in
rooms where I’ve shivered in the cold
light rooms
dark rooms
rooms in which my story will be told.

We are all as transitory as furniture –
gathering dust
we just
occupy a space
until we are replaced
by something else;
thrown out onto the street,
like a broken table
a chair
or an empty shelf.
Track Name: The Principles Of Paranoia
The Principles of Paranoia

My spider-sense is tingling,
there’s a glitch in the Matrix,
a disturbance in the Force,
a sickening twist in my gut
that says:
something is wrong.

strangers who seemed safe
seconds ago
shift in their seats and stare.

Inconsistencies in conversation
insist on being brought up
for further discussion,
details like:
job titles and names of siblings
attain importance,
all trivia becomes significant.

While my mind struggles
with great leaps of logic –
the weaving of events
into a coherent plot –
my eyes scan for the tell-tale signs;
facial tics, eye movement and
sober suggestion.

Trust evaporates, and the night
descends into a game of poker
without the cards;
just bluff, double bluff,
raise and fold.

Convinced, I begin to
challenge and probe,
searching for the loose brick
that will bring the house tumbling down.

The same year I discovered
power chords,
I learnt to surround myself
with paranoia, climb into
it as though it were a
sleeping bag.

And even thought there
is always the chance I
could be wrong,
my faith in instinct is
so strong I will carry on
playing until the game is up.

It’s better to be a cautious
than a pleasant
Track Name: Special Brew Blues
(I got those) Special Brew blues

S’only about one-sixty a tin,
so it’s a bargin
by any fucker’s reckoning.

It’s a day spent on the street,
sitting on my seat,
asking, chasing, scoring, snoring,
here and there
I pick up a couple of quid
and everything’s sweet for a bit.

Don’t think about eating
or living or being
anywhere else but
in the sun
or in the rain –
when the evening escapes me
and the morning runs

Perfect product for a perfect consumer –
cheap as chips
and with a couple of wobbly-eggs
washed down
it even beats smack.

So FUCK all you who sup
bottles of Bud in shitty nightclubs
at three quid a go,
buying into a dream
of a self-image
that melts like snow
and soaks
into the dirt
and the mud.

Like a down payment
on a car
a flat
and the words you utter;
a job,
a life,
a reason,
has no true meaning when you
see the way in which
everything disintegrates
like empty pizza boxes
in the gutter.

I’m content with
making it through the day
until the night collapses
covered in puke and piss
mewling like a cat in an alleyway,
everything will be OK
so long as I believe
that one of you lot out there
is gonna buy
the next tin for me.
Track Name: Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome

Bleating like sheep,
repeating the same old tired shit
over and over again.
Like a washed up nightclub singer
gone insane from
repeatedly doing the same requests,
beating on your chests
in a rhythm I’ve heard
a thousand times before;

and it was boring the first time
I heard it,
and it’s still boring now,
watching as you plough
the same patch of
barren earth,
a dearth of new ideas
as your fears become
a reality,
as you kiss goodbye to
any hope of originality
in your
desperate scramble for notoriety.

Thinking you’re some kind of
sycophantic royalty,
your piety sickens me –
every time you
open your mouth it’s like
a school kid reading out an
essay on Marxist theory.

I respond with ferocity;
it might not be pretty
but at least it’s from the gut –
I’m put my money where my
mouth is,
the words burning
as they pour out
like a toxic waste spill
that kills
the local wildlife.

So stick another knife
in my back,
continue your
journey down a
well-beaten track –
the easiest one you can find.

I’m sure
in your own minds
you’re up there
with someone like
Joe Strummer
or John Cooper Clarke,
but in reality
you’re just stumbling around
in the dark
trying to put parts together
that just don’t fit,
your democracy is actually
a dictatorship,

an opportunity to roll out
your ‘greatest hits’,
over-inflated past glories,
incoherent politics and stories
designed to make you
appear unique,
raise you to the status of legend
within your own little clique –
the same people you hang out with,
the ones who are
there when you speak.

So I’m leaving you to it;
your lame quest
to turn literary rags
into riches,
a bunch of snivelling snitches
so far up each other’s arse
you’re practically
prison bitches.
Track Name: Everyday
Every Day

I'm sat on a bench in the park. 
The previous night's excitement has 
turned into granules of sand in my nostrils. 
My sweat tells me that I dropped a logo, 
sometime around 3. 

On my lap sits a list of all 
the people I haven't pissed off yet - 
places to shit, shower, shave, 
brush my teeth and maybe have a coffee 
and catch an hour of Jeremy Kyle if I'm lucky. 

I haven't paid a bill in months and 
many, many sofas bear the imprint 
of my arse. But today, the sun is out 
and I’ve got Szechuan flavour Sensations 
and half a bottle of Shiraz for my lunch. 

And to be honest, 
it'll do
Track Name: The Way It Is
The way it is

Scraping by on the 
minimum wage, 
my life on a stage, 
counting down the days 
until I next get paid, 

watch the money come in, 
watch it roll out again 
straight away, 
got to believe that
everything will be ok 

or I'll go crazy: 
whether I’m working
my arse off in a factory 
or serving beers and coffees 
to people younger than me 
who spend money 
like it grows on trees, 

it's all a joke; 
haven't bought a decent TV 
in years, 
spend what little I have 
when it appears 
on booze and smokes 
to help me cope
as the desperation grows, 
round and round the jobs 
I go, 
where I stop nobody knows. 

I'm better than this; 
even when I’m
pissing away my potential 
like it doesn't exist, 
my mind is a 
clenched fist, 
punching the wall after 
crawling out of my pit 
because I've got to go out 
and earn it - 
the right to live, 

a chance to survive 
and keep my dreams alive 
for another week - 
because I'm 
up the fucking creek 
with the bills again 
so I smash my brains, 
flush them down the drain, 
just get fuckin' wrecked,
come out with stupid comments like: 
at least they can't tax 
drugs and sex.

Wish I didn't have to think 
and watch myself 
as I sink 
deeper into doubt and debt, 
got nothing to look forward to 
going to bed 
at the end of a shift, 

praying before I go to sleep 
that something will come along 
and lift me out of the shit 
and make all the struggling 
worth it, 
while at the same time
I have to try and accept 
that this is 
just the way it is.

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