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Stranger

by Cretin

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about

California's grindcore/death metal misfits Cretin return with their first new material of freakish, extreme metal in over eight years! A perverted homage to the glory days of proto-grind and raw, depraved death metal, Cretin have perfected the lo-fi stylings of Repulsion, Autopsy and early Napalm Death with their highly anticipated sophomore full-length, Stranger. Oozing with violent, buzz-saw guitars, grinding grooves and blasts, a gut-wrenching low end and utterly deviant vocals/lyrics, Stranger will bring a malignant smile to those who prefer their listening sick and twisted.

credits

released 09 December 2014

Relapse Records 2014
relapserecords.bandcamp.com

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about

Cretin San Jose, California

Formed in 1992 by guitarist and vocalist, Marissa Martinez, and bassist, Matt Widener, Cretin was the Santa Cruz Mountains' answer to the wave of death metal and grind that was infesting the scene. They spent two years with a multitude of different drummers and ultimately put the band on hold to focus on other things. ... more

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Track Name: It
Long ago I spotted It: my double—every feature, perfect. It grinned as if to say, “We start and only end

when one is dead.” I swallowed all the pills prescribed, agonizing how to hide when It knew to look, and

running was doomed since It owned my stride.

I turned my home into a trap; beneath my bed I slept, and did the opposite of what I’d do, and lived,

instead, a stranger. Oh, years did pass, how I grew old, and wisdom made this true: I knew I’d sold the

good in me for time. I wonder, would It say the same? Having spent the bulk of years spoiling joy with

fear, I wished—almost—It would come at last. When quite by chance I spied It.

Unaware, It laughed beside a family of its own. How strange this felt, to barely recognize me in that way:

so content.
Track Name: Ghost of Teeth and Hair
gross. they say i ate you in the womb, that mom had no room. your teeth, hair & fingernails in my brain

explain why i’m not smart. doc- tors cut you out. mom kept you in a baggie. i glued your parts into a doll

& do you like your little cape?

we ride my bike so fast, we pedal hard right past the mean dog’s yard & through the woods. oh twin you

want back in? they stole you from the grave inside my brains. now you haunt, you beg. mom said you

don’t miss inside of me. but she’s wrong, my ghost of teeth and hair.

it got dark, streetlights turned on. mom will know we’ve gone too long, she’ll see i stole the kitchen

knife, her favorite one of all. one last chance to see if you are ok there taped on top my handlebars,

orare you still sad we can’t be like normal outside twins? fine. you win, you’ll go back in. i’ll put you

back. we all go back.

now we ditch the bike & hide behind the hill with dirt clods. Try to make a fire but can’t without my flint

& tinder.

cut my bandage off. gonna have to feel my way around. no mirror. i peel the skin right back and pop the

threads. my bone is like a door. you go inside and rattle, say hello.

hello again my twin.

ooh. so much blood. squirt the glue & wait. have you found your hiding place? stars! in the sky? or

behind my eyes? now we sleep whole again.

now we sleep whole again.

now we sleep.

now we
Track Name: The Beast and the Drowning Bucket
You were once a man. Now you are this beast. Sacrificed your name, that human history. Abandoned

all you were by answering my ad, to spend these carefree days: animal at last. I brush your tangled hair

and feed you from my palm. Wear your sparkly collar, scrabble when I call. Grunt and mewl your moods

(words died with your past), your struggles finally over: animal at last.

I need you like a master needs a pet. I love you even with both our regrets. I see you as a man we can

forget. I hold you and we both shed our debts. I am pleased you are free there on your knees.

I spy you twisting leg, feigning your surprise. Limp to the dinner bowl, the tired in your eyes. Dream at

night as man? Proven in your frown. Weary of the lie and ready to lie down. Never could it last.

Call you to the bucket. You lick away my tears, holy in your yielding, ceding human fears. Look, you were

never suited for responsibil- ity, so I’ll help you never face such culpability. Anticipation mount- ing. Am I

strong enough to finish what I started, this human-canine bluff? Hand rests on your nape. Yes, stoop and

lap the water. Such control!—playacting even at the edge of slaughter.
Track Name: Knights of the Rail
Trampin life for me. You sometimes spy us passin by rails and gut- ters, alleyways and highways on

the sly. Lies been told and now we hobos follow one of two men, I guess you call em generals or some

likewise thing.

Quit my buskin, beatin trains, back door bummin, and dodgin bulls. Wear the badge of the Bindlestiff

Boys now, I go to war. Code of the Road’s been broke, now the jungle’s deadly dark. Hid behind blanket

rucks and set booby traps neath stew pots. Cracked cookee’s head on the tracks too. Yeggs poisoned

whiteline cups and hanged Buck a switchstand rod. We buried Buck near his tree. Some damn boe hit

me with a spider pan down yonder spur line. Tracked that yegg by smell and got his blood all in my

shoes. Stay away from missions, there ain’t no chance we will be saved cause all em drifters grind their

shivs, waitin for lights out.

So our generals cocted a plan, they’d stand atop the trestle. Men on either side watched below. Clem

chucked his beans. We laughed. Last to leap from the tracks wins and hells, that rattler was comin fast

round the blind, whistlin mad. Gone was the bad blood, only cheers, all us shoutin praise and tears fallin

as the cowcatch come. All won that day for neither man budged but clasped their hands. The squeal of

brake never did quite sound.
Track Name: We Live in a Cave
Have you lost your way now that the daylight’s snuffed, beyond one field too many, past plots best left

uncrossed? Is that our light you see blinking from the bend, the lure of camp spit smoking—have you

found our cave? We came all this way and left all we were, to find ourselves new. Reborn, we are new!

We live in a cave. (In her dark we are new.)

Do you spy our shadows dancing on the rocks? Nude, we leap the flames and chant the wordless songs.

You later find the tunnel where we snore in piles like animals; you tiptoe but fail to see me smile. You

came all this way. Forget who you were. Find yourself new. Reborn, you are new! We live in a cave. (In

her dark we are new.)

Surprise! You hear the cackling—my wives have blocked the path. Still, you fight the groping tide of

hands that pull you back. Can you see the cave mouth? Or have you shut your eyes? It’s dawning pink

out there, that birdsong bids farewell. We live in a cave. (In her dark we are new.) You live in a cave.
Track Name: Sandwich for the Attic Angel
The old widow heard noises in her walls. The pest man came and set some traps but caught no rats at

all. Yet, now and then she rapped the wall and it knocked back. Now how was that? Maybe John, her

husband, came just like she’d always hoped.

Three knocks means hello. Message from the attic angel! Three knocks, I miss you. Message from the

attic angel!

She fixed her makeup, wore that blouse (his favorite from before), and danced around the house. She

set a sandwich on a plate. Outlandish! But, he might be hungry. When she checked, the lunch was gone.

The radio played their wedding song. Was it a sign?

Three knocks means thank you. Sandwich for the attic angel! Three knocks, I miss you. Sandwich for the

attic angel!

Nighttime fell. She woke, alarmed. Draped in cobwebs: the man who’d lived inside her walls. Three

knocks called him down. Living with the attic angel! He dragged her up to his nest where they lived

unhappily after.
Track Name: Stranger
Powerless, he watched his hand act out as people on the train as- sumed he planned the pinching, slaps,

incessant snapping—even though he swore it did these things itself. He snared it in a sling but, trapped,

it only scratched, undoing all the careful wraps and knots. And when freed, the hand embarrassed even

worse.

Divorce was hard. It broke that man, and as he left the courthouse, on the street, a woman screamed:

his hand had wormed its way beneath her dress—her face aghast, like blooming blood or flower print he

tore away.

Past the swelling mob, his hand yanked him shuffling, fingers wrig- gling; cast out: every part disbanded.

Stranger. Now it was stranger. Life had turned stranger. They call him stranger. He is the stranger.

He woke beneath an overpass, that hand pointing frantically. Along the path, while buttons popped

(hand stripped him nude), he went laughing—sometimes weeping—clenching fist. It’s said he found

peace in knowing all was gone, or lapsed to madness, murdering. And some find dripping hand prints

pointing the way there.
Track Name: Mister Frye, the Janitor Guy
Goddamn teachers, never appreciating what I do, never looking me in the eye, and the children, just

as bad, cleaning up their mess, throwing food just to spite me, chanting, “Mister Frye, the janitor guy,

Mister Frye with the lazy eye,” and smiling, mopping, I just say, “Now children, you must never throw

your trash in the side garden,” and they do it anyway, but would they if they knew it’s been me all along,

when they sing, “Mister Frye, the toilet doesn’t work, we can’t flush, you stupid jerk,” years and years

I’ve stopped the water, stealing all their turds, carrying them inside my pockets, planting them in soil,

tending my garden, growing it green and beautiful, something no one can take from me, those shitty

fucking brats, forty fucking years, and now that tree is more than strong enough, and will they close the

school, what will happen when they find me hanging from the bough, will the kids sing if I can’t hear

them, “Mister Frye, dead and blue, Mister Frye, his pockets full of poo”?
Track Name: Mary is Coming
“Mary is coming,” she kept telling them. No one had a clue that she was talking about her baby, mainly

because she wasn’t pregnant. Se- cretly, she had stalked the woman down the street, timing the attack

so the baby would live through it, but after knocking the woman over the head she couldn’t bring

herself to cut it out. She knew she was a coward, and mothers needed courage.

Depressed, she bought a doll, trained for weeks, and finally worked it up her vagina. Just to know how

it felt. But it got stuck in there. She missed work, sleeping most of the week and failing to eat. When the

paramedics arrived and found her in a puddle of infection, she moaned, “Mary is coming.” One said,

“Ma’am, you’re in shock.” She wanly smiled. “Mary means wished for. Isn’t that beautiful?” But there

was nothing beautiful about Mary. Still, she wept when they allowed her to hold her. She went to jail

and never saw Mary again.
Track Name: Honey and Venom
I was eating ice cream when it happened, when she staggered into the mall. It was hard to see her

features, welted purple as she was. You heard before you saw it, the buzzing, all those bees cloud-
ing like a storm. People panicked, flapping arms as if to fly away. Mothers hugged their children. I

jumped into the penny fountain. Who knows why the woman—dripping honey, maybe venom—was

hugging that beehive, or why she’d woven flowers in her hair. The news said she’d pointed, screaming

for her bees to attack, that she was indigent. Kids later found her campsite, full of wax sculptures. She

finally lobbed the hive through the shoe store window before collapsing. No one ever mentioned the

craziest part: the bees were obeying. I swear, the droning seemed to come from her rictus, like a sigh of

triumph. They were finding bees for days after things re- turned to normal.
Track Name: Freakery
“Freakery.”

“Freakery?”

“Freakery,” he whispered in my ear while others clapped that strange jig. They made me dance. One,

crawling, chased my feet for laughs. Chained to the post where they served me slop, I tried to match

their rhythms, but they’d swap one for another once I did. “Dance!” they sang.

“But why?!”

And they screamed: “Freakery!”

“Freakery?”

“Freakery!”

What did it mean? Was it the song title, or the name they’d given to their mountain games? What sane

people make someone fuck the animals of their farm while some damn kid plays the mouth harp? Oh

how they laughed at their captive! I danced and danced, I wanted to live!
Track Name: They Buried the Lunchbox
It was summer. The city cooked without breeze. My neighborhood had finally had enough and went out

looking for the fiend who’d been lighting fireworks all throughout the nights.

At first it was fun. We met neighbors, toted beer. Kids brought squirt guns and flashlights. My boyfriend

held my hand as we ran alleys, through the park, following the pops. But the men were serious.

When they cornered him, the bomber tossed firecrackers into the air, like confetti at a party. We

blamed it on the heat, the men going sour like that. And we were tired, so tired. He was different, you

could tell by his face. He had a lunchbox full of M80s and sticks, popsicle sticks, and some sad letters and

photos. They started push- ing because it was so hot. He moaned. Or giggled. I ran when I saw someone

lift the brick.

No one talks about it now. Still, after a while, on that night, the neighborhood got to lighting fireworks.

But only on that night.
Track Name: Husband?
She’d started to suspect that he’d been poisoning her meals. Sleep was rare and thin. When she

returned after work, dinner was steam- ing on the stove, but he was gone. Usually, he’d be whistling

(that song she couldn’t place). She dropped her briefcase, tied her hair back, inspected the stew with a

wooden spoon. Then she heard it. His tune, faintly. She only saw his eyes at first, blinking there against

the wallpaper. It was all so confusing. Then she realized what he had done: he was nude, elaborately

painted like the wall, motionless. She dropped the spoon. The stew was boiling over.
Track Name: How to Wreck Your Life in Three Days
Fire is the great fixer. Dad taught me that. His last words were, “Boy, if you’ve got a problem, fix it with

fire.” Then the cancer took him. We never even hugged. He kept making me repeat it.

The next day, I got in a wreck. I suppose you heard this on the news. Exchanging info, I was suddenly

overwhelmed and tipped a lighter to the pool of gas beneath my car. Took care of that problem! And

when I got home, my landlord started nagging me about the rent I was behind. Problem: rent. Solution:

fire. I watched the blaze from across the street.

Day two. I hid from the cops and kept fixing problems. This alerted them more quickly. The answer to

the cop car was gasoline. Then I solved a dog that barked at me. I scorched all my hair and went to the

store to get something for my burns, but had to burn down the store instead. Sure, problems turned to

ash, but fire has a way of catching.

Today is the third day since dad died. Mom, I know he found me disappointing, and I was only looking to

say goodbye, but what did he mean—mean about the fire? I think the problem might really be me. I’m

the problem. The problem and the fixer. Problem: me. So- lution: fire. I know what he was trying to say.

“Boy, you were always a problem. Fix this with fire.”