The Second Before I Give Up EP

by How Scandinavian

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about

Only available for a short time after being released, The Second Before I Give Up was recorded and released in haste, partially because of my desire to release something fresh after 2010’s “Clandestine” single failed to impress. Yet, even though this initial desire had been fulfilled, the imminent release of How Scandinavian's debut LP would quickly become idealized as being my sole release of 2011.

So what seemed like “just a collection of random songs”, as a friend of mine so eloquently put it, was thrown back into oblivion to make way for the “grand artistic statement” that Dolorous was intended to be. But now in 2016, I decided to remaster and remix this lost EP in order to contextualize and reestablish it as one of the most important things in the early How Scandinavian chronology, however unimportant that might be in the whole of musical history.

Originally titled "I Love You Björk, Marry Me!", this EP is in many ways the final “adolescent” How Scandinavian release that I made. Mainly composed and written during my junior year of high school, the six genre shifting songs are thematically linked by subjects that all were born from that period; youthful optimism, romance, uncertainty, disappointing friendships, and the well-earned dislike of the popular kids.

The EP also contains a sense of experimentation and exploration that I have grown very fond of in recent times. The hyper stream of change and information that was coming in during those late teenage days is captured by the song-by-song genre switching, and in hindsight seems like a subconscious move to adapt.

Although these themes (both lyrically and musically) are pretty much eternally coming and going around in my (and many others’) music, this would be the only moment in which it was addressed as directly as possible. There is a lack of metaphor throughout the record, and if I had gone a step further then I would be addressing people by name and street number.

With all the shifting friendships, a remaining year filled with closure for the teenage era, and the looming entrance into university, all I could do was address it as directly as possible. The result was the most reactive sounding record I ever made as a teenager.

"I was half in mind, I was half in need
And as the rain came down I dropped to my knees and prayed
I said "Oh heavenly thing please cleanse my soul
I've seen all on offer and I'm not impressed at all"

- The Style Council, "Shout to the Top!"

1. In Between Graces:

The early and continuing experiences of separating expectation and reality, first hand. A very acidic letter to old friends who drifted away. In hindsight, the subject matter and sound are a bit of a peek to what would be developed further later down the line. Probably my favorite opening track ever and borrows its title from a superb Harvey Danger lyric.

2. Girl From Paris

Subject matter being those old school daydreams of escapism, mixed with the early signs of reality crashing on top. This concept had been kicking around my head since I was in elementary school; the possibility of a foreign exchange gal that would sweep you away. For better or worse, that never happened.

3. You Say You Know

Closest thing to The Fall I ever wrote in my life. I particularly like the cereal in the morning section. A very accurate representation of the high school growing pain years in a stream of consciousness style. References Steely Dan too!

4. Clamface

The "fiercest" I got as a 17-year old. I had not really dived into "true" forms of heavy and fast music as I would the following year, but I gave it a shot (as it is apparent with this and the subsequent song). I thought to myself, "I'm pretty mad, so I'm going to repeat this dumb riff over and over in a fast way. That's how it works right?". In a naive way, it did.

5. Sink or Swim

Much like "Clamface", this was my juvenile attempt to make a "heavy" track. Point of reference for the vocals was Henry Rollins, and not really the Black Flag iteration, but more the Rollins Band in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3" iteration. I believe the song was called "What's The Matter Man?". It's not very good. After adding about a zillion guitar overdubs, I figured I might as well go all out and brought the keyboard to do some nasty sounding 90's synth bass. Not exactly fast, but not a slog either. I quite like this song for how odd it turned out, it was revived for 2016 sets.

6. Not A Significant Source Of

A naïve foray into a twisted and compromised idea of synthpop. At the time, I did not know how to program drum patterns in DAWs or knew what a VSTi was, so this entire rhythm track was recorded live from my old trusty organ's rhythm machine. It kind of lends the track an ominous sound that is uneasy and nervous. With lyrics that deal with the sentiment of opposing the popular kids with their glancing judgement and exciting lives (I know better now), I wanted no backing vocals for the lone voice among the madness.

credits

released February 27, 2011

All songs written and recorded by Bryan Santizo between mid-2010 and early 2011.

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How Scandinavian Palmdale, California

Alias of Bryan Santizo, founded in 2008.

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Track Name: In Between Graces
grabbing a knife by the wrong way
you know you shouldn't
(you said you shouldn't)

you're just a distraction
and I've got nothing better
to do with my time

with my time
you know right from wrong
but you think of the middle..

and I guess
no one says anything...right.

you gotta be kidding me (x4)
is this way too much to handle for me?
(you fucking be kidding me)
oh really, oh really, oh really, oh really?
you gotta be kidding me.

grabbing it all the wrong way
you know shouldn't
but you do it anyway (anyway)

and you question the morality
of what you just said
and nobody ever tries (so hard)
about anything, anything, anything...
(anyone, anywhere, anything at all)
(i don't really care either way)

you gotta be kidding me
(either way...)
you gotta be kidding me
(either way I...)
you gotta be kidding me
(either way...)
you gotta be kidding me
(kidding me!)
you gotta be kidding me
Track Name: Girl From Paris
Reviewing anything with regret
is exhausting to a troubled mind
sometimes I forget all the ways
I fucked up and made you cry

At times I still wait for the girl from Paris
to come down to my class and
we'll travel from Iceland to Bombay

But it's okay cause I'm with you
to share eternal youth
without a moment un-shared

Trying to get the approval of
all people that you respect
knowing very well that you're not even
close to being good enough yet

It's difficult to concentrate
leaving a fulfilled existence

Don't you know it means a lot to anyone
when you want to laugh at them
so laugh and get this over with

Please don't leave
please don't leave
please don't leave

God damn the jealousy
piling up between the cracks
of a failing self confidence

In nightmares and stupidity
but in reality
kiss me and tell me I'm the best thing
that you'll ever have
Track Name: You Say You Know
another dream is killed
and the reality is near
say you tried but I don't see you
trying any harder than you did last year

a pair of skinny jeans can change your mind
a younger face lays out that plan
"pull apart this used-to feeling
and walk far from this" he said

"Isn't it obvious?" we both wished
shortcuts abound, sterile and found
everything is perfect and it still is
but I never seem to live in it

oh I feel that way so much
didn't want to wake up today
dim dark and old blue hues
slowly dropping off the ledges, if we meet...
and bitter pills to swallow
along my cereal wheat

Oh that cereal wheat
the only warm thing around
the thing I love to eat
because no one else is around
to make me breakfast
and I wish I could eat
without feeling like shit
when I wake up to go to class!

You say you know
where our problems go
It's really cute you think you know
where our problems go

You say you know
But you don't really know
It's cute you think you know
But I'm going to hell
(for all the little things I've done...and said...)

what a fool am I
to believe in change
to think of myself as an intellectual
but i'm not surprised, no!

mistakes are abound (You say you know)
my disappointment is well fueled (where our problems go)
well fueled... (it's cute you say you know)
????...measurements of... like gasoline...???? (but you don't know)

it can't be conveyed
Quite honestly, I wish we were intricate
I wish there was meaning
but so now what's left?
what's left of this?
will you tell me?

It would've been so much warmer if you really tried
she thought that I could tell
and I thought that I would be there
but isn't it obvious?
we both wished so long
and "so long" is what we'd say, the very next day

but I couldn't feel but say (You say you know)
that I was... truly alone (where our problems go)
Truly alone... (it's cute you say you know)
what else mattered anyway? (but you don't really know)

???????? (where our problems go)
???????? (it's cute you say you know)
regardless of what happened (but I'm going to hell)

regardless of anything...
uh, oh well...
but the girls don't seem to care tonight
as long as the mood is right
the mood isn't right though... it's actually really wrong...
really
Track Name: Clamface
*I just really don't care.*

You don't get the last word in
so graceful in every way you acted
how right it seemed an awful way
I'm grateful now in every way

Grateful forever starting today
condensed and decrepit
you're just my story now
no you won't ever have the chance to talk (my guess, can't find the sheet)

come on tell me
you'll take me down (to the way)
you'll take me down (to the way)
you'll take me down (to the way)
you'll take me down (to the way)

oh I doubt it, oh I doubt it

just like loose change
you're so cheap
I'll come into the liquor store
and make you my treat

and you don't help yourself
or ever account for the lesser things that arrive
you call it "everything I provide"! (Note: I as in me)

but you'll take me down (to the way)
but you'll take me down (to the way)
you'll take me down to the way where I don't wanna stay

and you'll stay
but you'll stay
never moving
always there
never saying
what should have been said!

no, haha you'll never open your mouth again...

if this is how it is, then grab my thoughts and clearly demonstrate
I've been there before, only you would exaggerate
only you would exaggerate
(now we know the expert on exaggerating)
(you fucking waste)
Track Name: Sink or Swim
depression breeds depression
real effort breeds success
your ambition is much too low
you'll never depart from the rest

there's no reason
to ponder
with everyday to lose
when you fall
i'll laugh all the way through

sink or swim
or never find out
but the moment has passed
and you fatally drowned

so sink or swim
or never found out
but the moment has passed
we forgot about you

and when you're down
i'll spit on you
stagnation must be comfy
no doubt it'll be true
with lazy potential
of a failure's lure (to)

sink or swim
or never find out
but the moment has passed
and you fatally drowned

so sink or swim
or never found out
but the moment has passed
and you fatally drowned

forgot about you
(forgot about)
forgot about you
(forgot about)
we forgot about you
(forgot about)
oh, we forgot about you...

we forgot about you!
oh we forgot about you!
oh we forgot about you!
oh we forgot about you!
oh we forgot about you!
Track Name: Not A Significant Source Of
Walking back into the circle of friends you have
you think you're great
but I have my own ways to think about
what I should have said

and guilt follows me around
and temptation sure is around here
resist that same fear

now you gotta find your way out of the mess
and dig your hole
another direction from the first one
you dig straight down
you're gonna get sinked in

you tell me I'm not too great
but I know I've done so much
to take your
'consid-er-sensations'

But I'm not surprised anymore
Not surprised when you realize
I'm the bastard and a fool
I'm your bastard and I'm my own fool

But now what is left?
and now what is left of this simple time?
and I guess I should've drank the turpentine

Now god bless
you left a mess
now I'm not sure why
but now you tell me that it's not working
why didn't you say something three months ago? oh no?

It doesn't really think about what I said before
Said before
And now I guess I'm walking straight to the path
of 'diss' glamour and misconception

but isn't that what all kids love to say
when they're walking down the hallways and
looking at someone like they own us all
but you know you've never had something that was more
that was more...

Now I know, I know, I...
You said when you're walking away from
this situation that you never had
You never had, you never have it
have it, habit

you had it but you lost it behind
and you're lost behind
you're lost behind
and you're lost behind...