Compassion Fatigue (1​-​8)

by Ashley Reaks

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'Compassion Fatigue (1-8)' came out of an idea to write an album where the first song had to be exactly one minute long and in the key of A, the second song two minutes long and in the key of B etc....


Compassion Fatigue (1-8) is nothing short of a triumph. Its initial interest lying in the fact that track one is exactly one minute long in the key of A, track two is two minutes in the key of B and so on, it is made special by the sheer originality and aggression on show. Do yourself a favour and buy this album to witness one of the most intelligent, interesting and original concepts you will ever hear from a man who often borders on genius.

Many are the sources of joy on Ashley Reaks’ latest record Compassion Fatigue (1-8), from cheeky clever lyrics that often find a way to pack an emotional wallop despite themselves, to shifty yet easy-to-follow song structures that treat the rock template like so many Chinese puzzle knots, to the confidence with which the fun-filled scathe of these eight pieces is executed, Reaks and his assembled band coming across like a cross between a rogue-ish carnival huckster and a peak-striding artist in full Picasso strut.


released March 1, 2014

Ashley Reaks - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Maria Jardardottir - vocals
Dave Kemp - saxophones, accordion
Ian Peak - saxophones on track 6
Nick Dunne - guitars and keyboards on tracks 4 and 6
Mark Law - drums on tracks 1 and 2.
Dan Mizen - drums on track 6

Recorded at Active Audio Studios, Harrogate by Dan Mizen and at Ocean Studios, London by Mark Bhalla.

All songs written by Ashley Reaks.- 2014
Artwork by Ashley Reaks


all rights reserved



Ashley Reaks London, UK

Genre-hopping musician and collage artist.

"an incomparable talent and a true original, a man who often borders on genius" - Louder Than War (UK)

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Track Name: Compassion Fatigue
I’ll do your washing, I’ll cook your tea
I’ll wipe your arsehole and kiss your feet

There’s gotta be more than being the Emperor’s whore!

Give me torture, give me disease
Give me bread and water and no relief

There’s gotta be more than being the Emperor’s whore!
Track Name: The World The Dead Have Made For Us
‘Be good, be strong, don’t ever be wrong!’

Penny-pinching puritan
Cheap compassion charlatan
Hollow like a hologram
(The world the dead have made for us)

Background in the military
Addicted to the ordinary
Much more of a man than me
(The world the dead have made for us)

No time for loss, no time for soul.

Tiny foetus in the sink
Kicking up a mighty stink
Daddy’s had too much to think
(The world the dead have made for us)

No time for loss, no time for soul.

‘Be good, be strong, don’t ever be wrong
You must obey what the master said
Be good, be strong, be perfect, be dead!
Track Name: Cold Body Pussycat
He held her vulva over his face
Touched himself up with death-blue paint
Saw the eyes of God and he started to feint

Cold Body Pussycat!

Stretched her belly out to use as a drum
Cleansed her pubic cavity that blocked out the sun
‘Mother is all in the mind, son’

Mummy, Mummy, Mummy
There’s a pain in my tummy
I’ve been eating pussycat off a cold body

There was a young man called Ed
Who wouldn’t take a woman to bed
When he wanted to diddle
He cut out the middle
And hung the rest in the shed
Track Name: Wrong 'Un
The way it is is the way it is

Peter Righton was a wrong ’un
His sexual urges were all rotten
However hard he tried he couldn’t stop ‘em
Peter Righton was a wrong’ un

Peter Righton was a pervert
‘The Colonel’ chose to rub his nose in his own dirt
Now he pays waifs and strays to wear his hair shirt
Peter Righton was a pervert

Peter Righton was conflicted
His body wouldn’t do what he told it
Washed up in a home for the sexually addicted
Peter Righton was conflicted

Peter Righton was a robot
Lived life on automatic pilot
There ain’t nobody in this world who wants what he’s got
Peter Righton was a robot

Peter Righton was a wrong ’un
Track Name: Cot Death Grandmother
Anti-this, anti-that, anti-the other
Anti-this, anti-that she’s the anti-mother

Don’t make a sound, don’t say a word
Children should be seen and not heard

She’s anti-man she’s anti-wife
She’s anti-death she’s anti-life
She’s anti-black she’s anti-white
She’s anti-day she’s anti-night
She’s anti-time she’s anti-space
She’s anti-the entire human race
She’s anti-life, she’s anti-life

Mummy has abandoned me
Sentenced me to infancy
Now all of the world can see
Mummy has abandoned me

She was dead when she was born

No one’s ever known her
No one’s ever boned her
Everyone’s disowned her
No one’s ever known her

She’s anti-right she’s anti-wrong
She’s anti-weak she’s anti-strong
She’s anti-play she’s anti-work
She’s anti-septic she’s anti-dirt
She’s anti-her she’s anti-him
She’s anti-bones she’s anti-skin
She’s anti-boy she’s anti-girl
She’s anti-the past and the modern world
She’s anti-life she’s anti-life

Mummy, Mummy, where is my Mummy?
Mummy, Mummy, Mummy’s abandoned me
Track Name: Street Cleaning
Smeared in baby lotion, lizard loving loner
Crackshot with a crossbow and a crack-induced boner
Jaguar and Skeleton are eating live rats
Shitting in the corners of his shithole of a flat
He’s obsessed with the breasts of the ladies of the night
On the hunt for some cunt, he’s got his prey in his sights

When life has lost it’s meaning
And inside there’s no feeling
Days spent staring at the ceiling
It’s time to go street cleaning

Mum was quite a catch in her Buddy Holly specs
Bringing back strangers for anonymous sex
I have a little shadow that goes in and out of me
Peter was a pussycat compared to Ven P
He’s here, he’s there, he’s every-fucking-where

Your cats are dead!
Scrub, scrub away!
Clean, clean it up!
Diane lost the War!
It’s a disgrace to be ignorant!
Loser, loser, such a bad loser!
Track Name: Joyless Joy
Joyless Joy got a concrete heart
she wears crease-free jeans showing off her shot-putter’s arse
Joyless Joy got buns of steel
and an old deep-seated hatred of the weak she can barely conceal

Joyless Joy she’s a health guru
for an exorbitant fee she’ll come and sterilize you
Joyless Joy, she’s psychologically free
had a one-night stand with a non-white man back in ‘73

Joyless Joy, face like the Berlin Wall
her idea of love is a punch to the guts and a kick in the balls
Joyless Joy should have been Goebbels’ girl
with her power suits and jackboots she’d have fit right in to his death camp world

Joyless Joy she’s pathologically mean
she’s down on her hands and knees collecting crumbs from her haute cuisine
Joyless Joy, tight as a fly’s arsehole
putting pennies in her porcelain piggy bank she’s hidden amongst her mountain of gold

She don’t know how to play
Mama locked all her toys away
long ago yesterday
She’s forgotten how to fuck
keeps her doors and her windows shut
every second of every day

Joyless Joy says sex is obscene
every night she uses antiseptic wipes to keep her arsehole meticulously clean
Joyless Joy building muscle tone’s her kind of art
alternates her weights and her cardio training every morning 6 am sharp

Joyless Joy raises money for starving children
in reality you know if she had any of her own that she’d probably kill them
Joyless Joy wants a rugger-bugger boy
while she’s waiting she’ll be masturbating with her secret stash of stolen sex toys

She’s only a poor little Tory
my sweat and my blood on her hands
she left a shit-stain on my story
then took all the money and ran

Joyless Joy, she got a cold fish kiss
she ain’t got no hips and the milk from her tits tastes just like piss
Track Name: Disconnected
I am the little child without a game to play
I’m the preacherman without a word to say
I am the lunatic without his private hell
the comedian without a joke to tell
I’m the joy that’s swimming in a sea of pain
the thunderstorm without a drop of rain
the runaway without a place to run
I’m the god that’s not a part of everyone

I am the Romeo who’s got no love to make
I am the femme fatale without a heart to break
I’m the broken man without a cross to bear
the debutante without a stitch to wear
I’m the Superman who’s running out of steam
the idealist without a dream to dream
I’m the benefactor with nothing to give
I’m the true survivor with no will to live

I’ve got a spirit that just won’t die
I’ve got a freedom only pain can buy
I’m not a part of the tick-tock lie

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