Vengeance Incorporated song lyrics
A rich mix of crotch-rock and violent images, interposed with deep thoughts about life and love.
On a few of these I do remember trying to be intentionally funny, but they all work on a comedy level now, I think. “A slave to the master who lives in my pants” from Foxholes was an especial favorite of Mike and Bobby “The Deacon” Gibbs.
“Run like a whippet” from Murder in Your Eyes was also a catchphrase for some reason. My personal favorite is “My love runs wasted down the back of your leg” from Streetwalker, and early effort. The later stuff was less funny, maybe because I became a bit more self-aware and tried to be funny on later stuff like Phone and Bad Day. I also wrote goofy stuff for other bands like Thunderrats 1 and 2 , rejected by Gardy Loo.
There are only a few I think stand up, which mostly also seem to me (I could be wrong) as my best musical compositions as well. If an interviewer asks me “What songs do you think actually hold up, lyrically and/or musically, all these many many many years after your youth has fled and you consider your past musical sins?” I’d probably choose Goodbye ’89 and Meltdown from Bad Crazy and several from Love Kills, when I tried to branch out from the restraints of metal a bit, That’s Not How it Feels (maybe my all-time fav), Only One and Stay isn’t bad.
Let’s run down the albums one by one, shall we? (all the notes on the site are quite lengthy and extensive and For Vengeance Fans Only, the rest of you may want to skip them)
Traveller is pretty good, and there’s a pattern I see going in, it’s a tune I composed and ended up performing mostly on my own. Same with the only other song on Predator I think has decent lyrics, Running Blind. HMSQ I believe we thought was funny when I wrote it, but it’s still pretty hilarious even now. Overkill is notable for it’s disturbing reference to fisting. The title track is pretty throw-away really and like most of the stuff on the record is full of typical heavy-metal sex and violence tropes that imitate our role-models like Priest, Sabbath, Ozzy.
All four albums followed a concept lyrically, and Predator is mostly about preying on victims: Predator, Full Frontal Assault about physical violence and HMSQ, Streetwalker and Foxholes sexual predations. Arrakis is based on Dune after my disappointment with Maiden’s lame effort at dropping phrases from Herbert’s book (To Tame a Land) and Running Blind and Traveller are in the deep thoughts about life and love category.
Also a concept album, and almost every tune follows the theme of intentional assholery. Some of these have a nice turn of a phrase or two but nothing for the ages. Black Ace is an ode to a particularly asinine lead guitarist we knew, who was a real jerk even for a lead guitarist. Whipped was a crack at an ex-members bitchy ex-gf, who was Belinda Carlisle voluptuous and beautiful at the time, but the universal karma system has predictably rendered her fat and no longer remotely cute. (UPDATE 2015: Boy was I wrong on this. She got ahold of me when she found my post honoring Curt’s death and she’s gorgeous, svelte and just a joy, funny and bright. We’re the ones who got fat and not remotely cute.)
Cry Havoc, described elsewhere on the site, is lifted from Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser funeral oration (who says metallers can’t read?), Murder is a shot at an ex-member. Carnivore is along the lines of Streetwalker from the previous album. Killing Frost is a monster movie set to music, Neo-Nazies is about neo-nazies (not pro-nazi, it’s more like a warning and critique of neo-nazies than an endorsement. Judas is about traitors (duh) and Latter Days about the Rapture, taken from a Sunday-morning televangelist I was too lazy to change the channel on so I figured I might as well write down some lyrics from.
As you might have gathered, this concept was evil insanity, including serial killers (Tiger Shark and Bad Crazy), the dishonesty of music industry and life in general (Damned if You Do and Liar), apocryphal visions (Nightmare Landscape), drug addicts (Meltdown and Chase the Dragon), governmental tyranny (Beijing) and of course, love and sex (It’s Not Over and Beast). Plus a couple reveries on life, Nomad (in which my lyrics suck) and Goodbye ’89 (which I kind of like).
The theme here is heartbreak, the perfidy and fickleness of love. The more melodic and mellow songs are generally more positive about love, the heavier songs are generally bitter and negative about it. In the first category there’s the good ones- That’s Not How it Feels, Only One and Don’t Say Goodnight and the throw-aways- Just One Night (winner of the wimpiest song ever included on a Vengeance Incorporated album, and Chuck actually plays drums on it), The Bay, The Light, Brother Brother.
In the second we have decent songs like Someday Soon, Stay (which actually is more neutral than bitter), Sonora and Bad Day, plus album filler like Phone, Thunderrat, S&S&S and Don’t Wait. The exception is the literal “love kills” referencing number Terminal Man, with music by Mike and lyrics about a mutual friend of ours who died of AIDS. It’s neither bitter nor positive, it is just observational, I think. It’s probably one of the better songs from the album, lyrically and musically (thanks Mike!)
That about wraps it up, I think what I wrote was mostly a product of the times and genre in which we were writing, and emulated the heavy-metal heavy-weights of the time like Priest, Scorps, Maiden, Ozzy and Sabbath plus the influence of newer, more radical bands like Accept, Plasmatics, Holocaust and Angelwitch, all of whom we covered at one time or another. It is what it is, I won’t do a George Lucas and revise all my lyrics now to avoid embarrassment and misrepresent a unique time and place that produced lyrics as stupid and border-line profound as these.
Guy – August 1997 revised 2015 and 2022