2014 was a bad year

by Franco Bandini

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about

A twenty first century outsider figure, Franco Bandini possesses a style of deceptive simplicity, full of emotional immediacy and tremendous psychological point. Among the releases that have comprised his career, Bandini’s crowning accomplishments were, for many, his hard rock work under the name ‘The Parish Church Fire’. An impoverished young Lancastrian-Mancunian, Bandini, armed with no high school education and the insane desire to write music, escaped his suffocating hometown of Atherton to seek glory in a dystopian millennial-era Manchester. He arrives with big dreams but he finds the reality; a city gripped by nostalgia. He now makes music for the people who lurk in the outskirts of this commercial hell.

An ‘Acoustic EP’ containing no acoustic guitar, ‘2014 Was a Bad Year’ is a record made by an outsider for outsiders. After achieving a modicum of success with a string of punk musicians, Franco Bandini has retreated on this record to explore a sound more in line with his dark, depraved inner voice. Tales of murder, abandonment, alienation and suicide adorn the 15-minute extended play and the music reflects these lyrical themes. Recorded over just two days with no other musicians, the four songs are a nod to the great-underrated author John Fante (his novels ‘1933 Was a Bad Year’, ‘Ask the Dust’ and ‘Wait Until Spring, Bandini’ providing obvious inspiration). The artwork depicts John Fante himself, with an added semicolon used a symbol of hope for those suffering with depression, anxiety and thoughts of self-harm, the underlying engine room of the themes presented on this record.

Of the 9 songs recorded by Bandini in the session, 4 appear on this release courtesy of German Shepherd Records. With the idea of creating something raw, all songs were completed with minimal accompaniment, no overdubbing and no more than 2 takes were attempted on any of the tracks throughout the recording process. The result is a broody EP that provides a true representation of the emotions felt within the recording process; no glitter, no sparkle, just Bandini in a room with a microphone.

credits

released October 23, 2015

All songs written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Samuel Frankie James Smith © 2015 with thanks to German Shepherd Records

Fettling by Larry Pants in The Den
Watcher of the Skies - IK Moss

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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German Shepherd Records Salford, UK

Greater Manchester Based independent record label offering a variety of eclectic music for your listening pleasure

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Track Name: Nashville, KId
No light to guide your tunnel, no daylight creeping in
There’s been some kind of going on, don’t let it pierce your skin
You’id pray at night for gunshots, if only you had faith
There’s been some kind of going on, don't let it pierce your skin
40%, forty proof, ageing bones are shrivelled proof
Let the beast break through, its not afraid to go any more
Cos I’d rather crawl along than die.
I know it’ll be alone and here is why
There’s a big black hole inside of me
The size of which will blow your mind
Track Name: The Whiskey, Guns & Bridges Blues
I needed to face mortality if I would overcome
So I combed my hair, got dressed and to the water the magnet pulled
I walked through the valleys,
I found my place
With a pack of four and a flask thats full, the silence I’ll embrace

YOU WONT DROWN IN THESE WATERS
AND YOU WONT HANG IN THESE TREES
YOU CAN'T FIRE GUNS INSIDE THESE WOODS
AND THERE AIN'T NO BRIDGES HERE

So I took a gulp of whiskey and imagined a blue lake
a lake as deep as the Persian gulf maybe it could seal my fate
And I laughed at the shallow river, on the banks of which I lay
It took five more gulps of whiskey to let the silence have its say

YOU WONT DROWN IN THESE WATERS
AND YOU WONT HANG IN THESE TREES
YOU CANT FIRE' GUNS INSIDE THESE WOODS
AND THERE AINT NO BRIDGES HERE

As I lay on the railroad track
I look above, I aint' ever going back
Don't need no taste of reality
This new world holds no place for me
Love us, or hate us but we do it in style
We are the victims of a mass suicide
Your net gives us no safety here
Utopian dreams confused by fear

YOU WON'T DROWN IN THESE WATERS
AND YOU WONT HANG IN THESE TREES
YOU CANT FIRE GUNS INSIDE THESE WOODS
AND THERE AIN'T NO BRIDGES HERE
Track Name: Videotapes
You’ll be down and out
You’ll be on your knees
I’ll be thrashing out my plans to disease
You’ll be watching on, I’ll be waiting
For all of my fantasies to consume
You will walk alone, you will shrink through fear
You will hear dogs howl, smell the stench so clear
Feel the pump of blood as its raging.
As the blade draws near it's a done done deal

With ethanol, the glass is tall, becomes me
I’ll cut you all, 'til the walls come down,
See you crumble around me
This Valium, the wall is tall surrounds me
God burn them all
Ashes all fall down but your flames won't scorch me

From the crying bum, to the kids on crack
From the cloud of blood, hear the thunderclap
Flipping heads or tails, ion a wager
Bet your life on me, spin the wheel, feel free
Pick the weapon of choice, hear the cranking of gears
As the chainsaw shouts “RING RING” in your ears
Clasp the neck of hope and its ringing
The receivers to boost as the end draws near

With ethanol, the glass is tall, becomes me
I’ll cut you all, 'til the walls come down,
See you crumble around me
This Valium, the wall is tall surrounds me
God burn them all
Ashes all fall down but your flames won't scorch me
Track Name: Ask The Dust
Do you want to ask the dust?
I will, if she’s right beside me
I’ll never come unstuck, as long as she’s here beside me
Now the lamp posts are falling.
Camilla aint here beside me
The earth is quaking, the dog is laughing, the chimneys shaking
But she’s not around me

How do I sleep?
Well, I don’t sleep well
And I dare you to spend, one night inside my personal hell
Write it down oh yes, pour it down, so sweet ,
Burn the bridge between heaven and hell
The creator is lighting the fires my friend and even the ashes can tell

Pour old Sammy’s coffee, extinguish all of my dreams
He’s more than a poor old leper she screams
But she loves him more than me
But I’m the one who fades away
And all I bleed is hate
Camilla, It's in my blood babe,
I don’t want to see you again