I Am the Chemical

by Bradley Herr

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about

Lyrically, this is an intensely personal work, I Am the Chemical is an auto-biographical concept album based around a very dark period in which I was brought to the realization that I needed to be medicated in order to function on a social level. This album tells the story of that realization, as well as the aftermath of the decision. Somehow, this is both the most depressing and uplifting music I've ever made.

Musically, I pulled inspiration from a multitude of sources. For Father's Day, 2015, I was given an eBow. I set about to using it and the raw tracks of this album were the result. I also decided to make a more keyboard-oriented album this time around, so it's an album full of new-age pads and synth blips.

This album is dedicated to:

Sarah, for helping me find my through this period and for helping me find the help I needed.
Jonas, for being the reason I find ways to smile every single day.
The one that's still on her or his way.

Thanks to: Ibanez, Squier/Fender, Aria-Pro II, Kohala, ESP, Korg, M-Audio, Alesis, LP, and Apple for making it possible for me to get all the crazy out of my head and into the world.

And thanks, Brandon.

credits

released November 13, 2015

bth - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, programming, percussion

All songs written, performed, enginnered and produced by Bradley Herr, except Strawberry Start, written by Brandon Eberly

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Bradley Herr Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: Rattled Apart
Hey,
Mr. Presley,
Where have you gone?
I haven't felt you for a while.
Buddy and Chuck,
J.P. and Bill,
I only see ghosts and bastard style
These quieted sounds,
The spirits are gone,
Alan and Moondog are no more.
Hound dog's been bred,
Johnny B. Dead
And I gave up on keeping score.

We shook and we rolled,
It rattled apart
(It fell apart)
We shook and we rolled,
It rattled apart,
It all fell apart.

Bottles and dope,
Hatred and hope,
Strung up on happiness and shame
SSRI,
In 3/4 time,
Still scared to death to play the game
Jazzed and wide-eyed,
Scared nationwide,
10mg of harmony
Purple and pink,
Over the sink
Linked in prescription amity.

We shook and we rolled,
It rattled apart
(It fell apart)
We shook and we rolled,
It rattled apart,
It all fell apart.
Track Name: Scared
I'm scared.

I'm of who
I'd like to be
I'm scared of what
That means

I'm scared of what
You'll think of me
I'm scared of who
I'll be

I'm scared

I'm scared of what's
In front of me
I'm scared of what
I've seen
More scary still
Is where I've been
So standing still
Scares me

Standing still scares me

I'm scared
Track Name: Float Away
Patch yourself till you’re patches over patches
Make a face that tries to show that you’re ok
Close your eyes and find a silence in the static
Suck it in and fight it out another day

Don’t let her see how much you ache
Don’t let them know it hurts that badly
This game isn’t theirs to play

The sound advice was what they didn’t mean to give you
Just close your eyes, let go, float away

Remind myself that’m the one controlling motion
Pretend that’s good enough to put your head at ease
Motion’s no good when it’s controlled by one’s emotion
Remove the crazy, cause that’s all they’ve ever seen

You stay alight
You stay alive
Pretend it’s fine
Shut off and die
Pretend you’re blind
Pretend you won’t
Shut off and die

Pretend to care
Keep breathing air
Pretend it’s fine
Shut off and die
Pretend it’s fine
Pretend you won’t
Shut off and die

Shut off and die

Don’t let her see how much you ache
Don’t let them know it hurts that badly
This game isn’t theirs to play

The sound advice was what they didn’t mean to give you
Just close your eyes, let go, float away

Don’t let her see how much you ache
Don’t let them know it hurts that badly
This game isn’t theirs to play

The sound advice was what they didn’t mean to give you
Just close your eyes, let go, float away
Track Name: Blame (Part 1)
I step back now and then
Look at what’s on my hands
The child in my head wants somebody he can blame

I try to look inside
The monsters in my mind
I try to rein them but they’re monsters that I can’t tame

Embarrassed of my shame
But not enough to change
Maybe it’s time that I agree it’s time to look inside my mind and find the reason that I’m always too scared to
Change

It doesn’t hurt to start
It can’t distract the art
You shut a door, another’s opening every day

And so the monsters win
You let your brain give in
And if it’s me, I need to find a better way to change

Cause what I got ain’t right
So if I start tonight
The worst that happens isn’t worse that what you’ve got but if you stop before you start you’ll you’ve nobody else to
Blame

So yeah I’ll take that help
And see it to some end
And if it helps me then those pills will be my best friend

And what it does for me
I guess we wait and see
At best it’s better and at worst it isn’t worse because I can’t go any lower I buck up and I start again

I can
Track Name: I Don't Like Anything About Myself
I hope you know
I want so much more for you
And sincerely this is everything that I can do
It drives me crazy that I’m crazy and I want to be the person that you loved six years ago

I don’t like anything about myself
I don’t like anything about myself

I’d claw my eyes out
I’d walk to California in July
From the bottom of my heart I mean this: if you stood to benefit, I’d die.
See, I want to be somebody who doesn’t make you worry all the time
But all I’m good for is an argument and badly written lines

I don’t like anything about myself
I don’t like anything about myself

I won’t give up on you
Please don’t ever give up on me
I promise anything
If it means keeping you with me

When I said that I’d take three a night
It wasn’t me
That just the panicked person I can’t help but be.

Understand I know the hurt and pain that I can bring.
Still I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything.
Track Name: I Am the Chemical
I am the chemical.

Fluoxotene

Replacing me

Synaptic re-uptake

Inhibited selectively

Science and medicine

Replacing my biology

I am the chemical

That's me
Track Name: Blame (Part 2)
Maybe there are no rules
Maybe it's all a game
Maybe we all should hang our heads in shame

The blood is on our hands
Close your eyes and pretend
You can't accept the pain of killing what you love and run away without believing that we've all got ourselves to
Blame

Maybe we just move on
Maybe find something new
It won't be me and I've got doubt it will be you

Shut up and play the game
Refocus into frame
You're only scared to take away your last excuse and make yourself an open target who has nobody else to
Blame
Track Name: Generie
Someone loved her when she was young
but he grew up and sold her off for cents

Purchased on the porches of a man who didn't want her anymore

She never had a name,
Or, if she did, she never knew what it was
But I do

Generie
You will be loved
When you love yourself
Like I do

Carried off
In a box in the back seat of a car.
Packed with friends and pieces of her world.

She met a man.
A man who threw her on the floor
And told her where to go and what to take.

Generie
You will be loved
When you love yourself
Like I do

Every day, her will was broken
She was a toy
A plaything.
He never learned her name.

One day in spring
He threw her down too hard
She hit the floor so hard, she broke her neck

Her face would never look the same again.

Generie
You will be loved
When you love yourself
Like I do

Her face was nothing but a scar
No pretty eyes or teeth or hair
Just a neck with nothing there.
That's when he gave you a name

Your name means nothing
It's not a name but it's all you have

You're not his whore
You're so much more
My sweet Generie

You will be loved
Track Name: Strawberry Start
-instrumental-
Track Name: I Am Going to Be Ok
It’s warmer than it should be
Considering that Halloween was yesterday
But now it’s just November
and I’m struggling to remember why these
Words I’ve said
Were ever up inside my head
I think that it must bore you
And i’d like to reassure you that

No matter what I do and what I say
No matter how I try to run away
No matter what the place is that I try to hide my face in

I am going to be ok.

I’ve never sounded happy
Believe me that it’s tough to quit
Inadequate
And maybe any face you see has
More to do with chemistry
But please believe
I’m better than I’ve ever been
And even if it’s chemical, I’ll
Take it ’till I am the pill

No matter what I do and what I say
No matter how I try to run away
No matter what the place is that I try to hide my face in

I am going to be ok.

Stop kicking myself around
I know it’s not my fault
Stop rubbing that stupid wound
You know it’s full of salt
Stop beating myself up every other fucking day
Hands down, head up because I’m going to be ok

I’m never going back there
Even if it’s hope in vain, it isn’t pain
But it can’t hurt for now
Until I pull it out somehow
The cycle is forever
But what it means is there’s a spark
In all my dark

And everything I’ve learned to love
And everything I’ve disposed of

No matter what I do and what I say
No matter how I try to run away
No matter what the place is that I try to hide my face in
No matter where the curtain falls or if the sadness comes at all
No matter what the distance and no matter my existence

I am going to be ok.