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Compassion Fatigue (1​-​8)

by Ashley Reaks

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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!
‘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!
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
Wrong 'Un 04:00
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
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
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!
Joyless Joy 07:00
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
Disconnected 08:00
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


'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


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Ashley Reaks Harrogate, 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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