by Mountebank

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released January 31, 2018

engineered and co produced by David McDonald at King Electric Recordings in Austin, TX.

Pratfall — a fall often used (esp. of clowns) for comedic effect.

Michael Valle - electric and acoustic guitar, piano, misc. organ, wurlitzer, vocals, synth/misc. sound
Alex Alcocer - drums/percussion, acoustic guitar on "Olivia & Otto", vocals, conductor
Declan Rory Murtagh - electric gtr, synthesizer, glockenspiel, lap steel, organ, vocals, piano
Alex Lopez - bass, vocals, piano

special guest Lexi Cardenas - fiddle on "Can I Borrow a Lighter?"

there's a bird at the end of "Turn Blue" that snuck in on the organ track. credit to that lil dude(ette)!

Copyrights and other threats apply.


all rights reserved



Mountebank Austin, Texas

Another filthy Austin-based-band cashing in our drink tokens and falling in love all too quickly.

We formed in June 2016 after having played in several other bands for years; the Hand of Fate slapped all those projects around a bit but thankfully we are way into that kind of thing.

That and biting.

Post-Pop/Indie-Rock/Alt. Folk
... more

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Track Name: Elkton St.
Dry— your senses are overcome
You can't quite seem to place your tongue

the words come out wrong and dumb.

You try to play it off like you don't mind//forgetful of another time
that's best left ignored, I guess.

Don't be so shy//Why don't you share some of these bold asides?
To mock the page but never cross the line
although these lines that you do feed your good time.
But can you sound it out? That when these plans we've made start going south—
don't be surprised when they do.

So walk with me on down the street//we'll hop a train or a lorry
Uncomfortable and feeling weak//you ramble off another fucking story

About how I hope in fifty years that they will find
that you were sixty years ahead your time
at least it's ten golden years.

So walk with me on down the street//we'll hop a train or a lorry
Light up the world and slay the meek//if it's not burning up the world it's boring

So walk with me down Elkton St//we'll hop a train or a lorry
Live hand to mouth by skin of teeth//holding loose appointments with attorneys
Court ordered curfew pushed back to 11:30//I'm asking "who can bear this burden for me?"
Is it too late to start another story?
Track Name: No Names (Surprise Parties)
The cost was high but now it's spent
I know that it's not right
Hard to accept that it came and went
before we could realize

That you were not prepared//It wasn't fair
You'd been obscured
But now we're hanging around your door
And we can't make a sound

There's no fighting truth.

Did you think that this was cake and balloons?
No chance you blacked out just a little too soon?
You tell me once a month at least that you're through with it
But now you're hugging the sidewalk close.

These crooked stairs, six steps in pairs
You fell down the entire flight
Let's burn this bridge— Who even cares?
Architecturally sound advice.
To watch just who you crossed was
never entertained
And now we're dancing around your
name because it feels like a grave
It's a frightening


And now we'll never know why ||
You fucking did what you did
like you always do

Did you think that this was cake and balloons?
Not Nancy Reagan coming armed to the tooth
I'm not sure what my stupid face has to do with it
but you insist it's a problem and puke on the car ride home.
Track Name: Old Weed
Don't care to hear the latest news—
You can keep the change but can you sense this mood
coming through?
It's been real nice looking past this dead-faced glare for a wide-eyed gut reaction;
Moments like these can't be denied
Yet still you'll try.

You found yourself in Prague yet still I'm not so sure
that you've found me.
I see you're at the window so I go and lock the door—
Does that constitute a dick move?
Through this facebook post won't you take your toll?
Bankrupt my Social Capital.

Humbling statement followed by a lowbrow reprisal
The group approval to which you're entitled.

Why can't we stay good friends online?
...Or was that a slight

Perhaps I've jumped the shark in trying to be kind

Just when I thought we'd end up fine

Your cousin's weed won't get me high.
Track Name: Can I Borrow a Lighter?
What do you keep behind closed doors?
Who will I find beneath your floorboards?

Collecting blood to paint the town— my, you're a hell of a gal

Forget the average, let's talk mean
Smack me around a bit my darling orphaned edge-queen
That's if your latest trick allows.... I wish.

It's just another reminder of this ||
I left a note to remind her of this
Odd intervallic reminders of

How I would love to be, if only for a while
I would love to be like Aldous Huxley's child
I would love to be imagined or asleep
Might add up to a ghost
Still I count on this black sheep
Track Name: Loose Cigarette
I'd absolutely love to be the Unabomber if that meant that I would have healthcare
Catch up on rent for the apartment, all 300 squares

The kitchen houses the commode
It leaves me with a very funny feeling
Like I should have looked up all along to see
I'm getting fucked on vaulted ceilings.
And it's a cold night
But if you don't mind to sit down with me
I know it sounds preposterous but I could see us sharing twin linen sheets.

After your man has lent a cigarette to the Terrible Machine who comes to claim you//We'll throw our gears down on the table as we dry hump and laugh.

We almost got back to my place but what
stopped us wasn't who we were deceiving
It's just my neighbor standing freely based and screaming at his newly broken/broke-in TV—
That's not what parking lots are for, man.

Well anyway if you'd still like to make an ampersand with me
I can't stand to see the face of some *half-ass who's twice the man that I'll ever be
You claim to hate this routine
We can't keep our Terror unseen
Fell for this broken Machine
Who barely has a third of a cheek*

And it's a cold night
I understand if you can't spend even a little more time with me
I'll keep my wallet empty//like a frame that displays nobodies teeth
As though a fire came and chewed out the memories
And ate up all of our 300 sq. ft.
Track Name: A Sun May Rise
Said I ruined all I touch, you slammed that door right in my face
I used your kindness as a crutch to help me stand in place
Made me feel like I'm worse than scum
You put a curse on me in a foreign tongue while
My balance falters and your contention proven right.

If I'm so full of it why do I feel so empty?

Got caught out running with just a bit too much to hide
The same blows that broke me are the same that broke my stride
I once was a good boy but now that value has lost its face;
Once was my father's son but now that's not the case.

If I'm so full of it why do I feel so empty?
If I'm so full of it
Track Name: But a Daughter Never Knows
Staggering onward towards oblivion//Biding our time with small talk and chattering

Arrogant — compelled by some stupid whim//To placate our minds//And alter the narrative.

All we are//This consciousness wrapped in skin//"You'll never believe the results to this quiz" all while being torn limb from limb.

Staggering towards Oblivion.
Track Name: Turn Blue
I know there's comfort in that you're traveling the world you love— It's beautiful and wonderful and all
those things that people say
that they have to remind them to distract them from themselves
I guess.

It's down the block to the bar with a book and my thoughts to keep you away

When Mr. Chan grabs my cash and my keys, takes my glass, and says that it's getting late.

I'm stepping out to a confidence man who just happens to speak in my voice,

"Hey, kid— if you want to stay hid I think I might know a way
for to drown out all this ______ noise..."

It's not that I don't want to have you on my mind//just to hold my breath until thoughts of any kind turn blue.
And now you know where you'll find me//with my future behind me, unused.

Stay hid; it's the only real thing I can do to absolve the evil I did.
The faithful mislead//why don't you tell me that nothing's wrong//or am I wrong?

It's coming on with impossible weight like an anchor got caught in the drain

Force it down, let it out of your mouth— take a look in the mirror and see that vanity runs in vein.

It's not that I don't want to have you on my mind//just to hold my breath until thoughts of any kind turn blue.
And now you know where you'll find me//with my future behind me.

It's not the finest hour to begin to doubt the situation which you got yourself involved//because it's not Mr. Chan's fault that you thought you found a way//to confuse the night for day//instead feeling stayed//not muted just downplayed.
Track Name: Oh Dear Driver
Awake too long and feeling kinda sick,
I throw myself into these temperamental fits
I assure you that it's no trance I'm under.

I'm waiting on a car with someone that's inside
I never met before, entrust them with my life
I hope I don't get murdered
Yet I wonder
How much does one tip to get skinned?

Counting out the ways
I end up sewn into upholstery— exquisitely displayed.
By these thoughts I am consumed
Self-avoidance at its finest, always coming off removed.

I pass the time between each borrowed cigarette
I light to connect with my disconnected friends
I hope that something awful blows my cover.
I've got these ill-defined points of interest on my mind
And I know it's just my integral blunder.

I'm just waiting for my ride.

Crawling in my skin
Of which I thankfully still have,
But this night's not yet met its end.
I pray I am consumed.
Conflicting sense of self-importance, maybe I'm avoiding

The moment's getting near, I'm hoping that I'm right
With FOX news, Mohandas Gandhi, & Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you sure it's not a trance that I'm under?

And I don't fear no (tin foil) apocalyptic propositions from Big Brother

Meanwhile I beg,

"Oh Dear Driver, take your tip
Count your blessings— let me live."

Our conversation's off the table but it's coming back to haunt me in spades.
I never knew a thought was able to first crystallize then shatter under its own weight.
I'd contemplate what's on the table, but I know you're trying to rope me in.
A seatbelt-click of paranoia incase we don't escape the lane we're in unscathed.
Track Name: Right on the Head
She’s below an intellectual meniscus
If the reference is good but the lighting’s not right she’ll miss it
In her worldliness she’s skilled in towing imaginary lines
Although manic and depressed don’t seem to be much less than intertwined.
I’m a door mat and an addict, unconditionally pacing frantic
Burning a patch on his lungs and hole in the rug to see you.
This dissociative response of which I’m leaning on at any given time
Keeps me up in the rafters while she’s runnin’ the scenes with a friend of mine.

We’re getting deep at awkward intervals
Exchange these lofty syllables
This play’s run long, your tongue’s worn thin
I’m starting to get anxious at the thought—
It’s so predictable,
We rise up like dirigibles
And crash into the rocky shores of God knows where this conversation ends

Condescending to consider me,
Dear Lord I think I’d rather be dead
Than a hearse in this procession
But such is this joke that’s overrun with hints
That this eternal consciousness
Indeed wants nothing more than to inhabit something greater than
As you’re running through your typical cycles—
Seems you’ve anointed yourself
and now you’re making your rounds
As some tragic, stoned disciple.
And no one’s taking the hint
but they’re all making their calls
And though you feel to move you get nowhere at all
Looks like you’ve stranded yourself because
you warrant the help to spite you.

My dear friend, I think you should be warned
This new-aged verbal hippie porn
Is kind of hittin’ a wall—
That green drink will not save you from despair.
I know, inflammatory
This claim towards false reality;
Your bikram coach instructed you to do these twice a day until you’re dead.

"Can’t we all just sit here comfortably
And conversate more topically
Instead of be held under hostage
By your misanthropic qualities,
These existential maladies—"
Can’t we please just throw out one more term?
I think we’ll hit that nail right on the head
Track Name: Window Seat
So it goes, I'm on my way home
It's OK to feel down, it's just a knot in my throat— I'm fine.
I've got this fountain of memories floating on the banks of my mind.
I know it seems like I'm going to blow, I'm sorry that I'm sitting beside you
Though I'm sure your grandkids would love to know that you almost got some puke on your shoes
It's not a matter of fact, but just a matter of this high altitude
I will find a way to get back to you soon.

It's just so hard for me to unwind
I wish I hadn't dropped
Fifty bucks at JFK and most of ten hours time— and what's the deal with nothing? It's really making me sick
The way you speak and how the crust forms on the side of your lips
The get out is planned out except I'm stuck in the aisle.

A denial.

Oh me, oh my!
Why would you wanna do that when you could own some cool boots??//What a score!!!//I know this place by the abandoned strip mall, or is it closer to the bookstore….
I'm sorry— I'm not sure why I just told you all that, guess I haven't really flown much before.

Can you tell?

When the cabin's dimmed I'm holding in my breath to fight this weight from going
Down//we go in the ocean
A slap in the face comes to greet you.
Faulty flotation devices, clutching on for
Our lives spin out so carelessly— Should we have left our fucking seats upright?

I will find a way to get back to you, who cares if that means coming home soon?
I'm not exactly "qualified to act as pilot"
It's hard enough to get friends you've known for years to call you back sometimes
And now my cell phone's reaching a flatline.

So it goes, I'm on my way home
And if my flight should go down be sure to go through my notes.
You'll find that I was planning this trip all along
I was ready the whole time.
I guess it was what it was.

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