The Ichthyologist

by GIANT SQUID

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Engineered, mixed, produced by Matt Bayles
Trumpets, flute, oboe, and Karyn Crisis recorded by Billy Anderson
Mastered by Ed Brooks

credits

released 16 August 2009
Aaron John Gregory - vocals, guitars, banjo, keyboards, lyrics
Jackie Perez Gratz - vocals, cello
Bryan Ray Beeson - bass
Christopher Melville Lyman - drums

Additional musicians:
Nate Perkins - trumpet on Panthalassa, Throwing a Donner Party at Sea, Blue Linckia
Anneke Von Geiserbergen - vocals on Sevengill
Kris Force - violin on Mormon Island
Karyn Crisis - vocals on Throwing a Donner Party at Sea
Cat Gratz - oboe on Emerald Bay
Lorraine Rath - flute on Sevengill

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GIANT SQUID San Francisco, California

In October 2011, Giant Squid released their most powerful album yet, 'Cenotes' continuing the scientifically surreal, adventurous tales of The Ichthyologist. Once again produced by Matt Bayles (ISIS, Mastodon), this second official release for Translation Loss Records is technically an EP, though all five songs total nearly thirty five minutes of music. Organic, crushing, swaying, sludgy, seminal. ... more

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Track Name: Panthalassa (Lampetra tridentata)
Panthalassa (Lampetra tridentata)

The dreams are upon me again of impossible seas filled to the brim
With equally impossible things with preposterous amounts of teeth

Hereto I command an immortal ship and all ten hands on deck
Standing abreast with the finest men, each thick headed and hell bent
On seeing this storm through, for reasons all their own
Patching the sails with the shirts off their back, I need not sail alone

The highest crests will fall like the rest under our battered hull
The beast filled troughs our bow will cross atop their cartilage skulls

The chill of the wind carries the hymn
Of things sounding disappointingly human
I’m quick to remind my men to ignore these beauties with green skin
A sure sign their blood is too thin
Singing lampreys that will suck you dry

This sea has no end
You will all give in
Only a matter of time before I bring you all bliss
Track Name: La Brea Tar Pits (Psuedomonas putida)
I awaken from what can hardly be called sleep
Starving as if I had two stomachs to feed
An ebb and tide of images in my mind of the two of you
Keeps my guts painfully empty

The tar boils and churnss
The tar boils and churns

I carve out and deny these infections on my soul
And watch them spawn lives of their own
Leaving snail trails of scars over what little of me is still pure
As they crawl towards where…

The tar boils and churns
The tar boils and churns

Aborted parts of my psyche are all found nourishing themselves at these pits
Bubbling forth from the recesses of my mind where all I am slowly falls in
Abominations of my being are incessant teething
Track Name: Sutterville (Vibrio cholerae)
Sutterville (Vibrio cholerae)

Finally, the horrible river has crawled back to bed
Leaving our bog like streets now damned with the dried up dead

Did you think it wise to build on the swollen banks of this delta?
When news surfaces of the latest death toll, will you rethink your new capitol?

Will our streets ever be dry again?

Festering pools left behind will be the death of this city
Breeding things with wings will only be the beginning

When your governor rowed down J. Street to the inauguration
Could he smell the cholera?
My offer stands to build my land uphill
You need only name it after me, Sutterville

We’ll raise our streets 14 feet above the river’s reach
Track Name: Dead Man Slough (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
Dead Man Slough (Pacifastacus leniusculus)

I left your lover in the slough
Spilled his guts but none of it was true
I left your lover in the slough

All the letters he wrote you were left in plain view
I recited them out loud as I was running him through
I left your lover in the slough

Crayfish will do as they wish
No need to stick around and watch
Crayfish will do as they wish with every inch of him

Out here past the muck and brine, I wait beneath the power lines
And now its half past nine
He’s never been this late before

Crayfish will do as they wish
Cattails beyond the pale hide the reason why he’s late

I almost can’t blame him
I may have done the same
And would expect to pay when caught on someone else’s claim

Crayfish will do as they wish with every inch of him
Track Name: Throwing A Donner Party At Sea (Physeter catadon)
Throwing A Donner Party At Sea (Physeter catodon)

Our ship struck twice by a whale
Now dig in and bail before it is too late

With the brine up to our knees
All I can think is how you’ll be first to be eaten

You will
You will

With the shit this deep you have to leave
All the things behind that you can’t eat
Far too many adrift at sea
You are our chosen source of meat

With the brine up to our knees
All I can think is how you’ll be first to be eaten

You will
You will
Track Name: Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus)
Sevengill (Notorynchus cepedianus)

Down here I wait with all my benthic friends
Underneath the gate listening to lives end

Those with seven gills will investigate
Each thunderous crash and corresponding shape
In great detail, I described you to each of them
In case the bridge, is how you choose to end

I’d like to have some last words with you before
You end up on the Farallones’s rocky shores
Where the real beasts await to have their way
With all the failures washed out from the bay

A hundred years have passed, since just last autumn
Please come to the bay, see who now lives on the bottom

I’d like to have some last words with you before
I forget how to walk upon these muddy shores
And cease entirely to breathe like a man
Seeing things only with the tips of my hands

My heart is crushed by the jaws of regret
Upon knowing where you now make your bed
The depths at which I’ve chained you to
I pray those shackles eventually rust through

Held under by chiton like lies
Amongst the corpses, I’ll never surface
Debris bouncing off my hide
Covered in detritus, I’ve lost purpose

What comfort lies in years of hating me?
Haven’t you in some way found a rare peace?
Please, realize you’re very soul’s at stake
You’re still a man, and I was just a tool of fate

Your bite marks riddled my soul
It got damn cold, with all those holes
So I left it on shore for all the gulls
There wasn’t much left, still probably more than yours
Track Name: Mormon Island (Alluvial Au)
Mormon Island (Alluvial Au)

They found gold here but they never found me
Underneath the temple down on main street
Where the men spent their dust and one took my life
In a town where two rivers collides

I’m still here

After the fire but before the water
They made sure to leave no one on the bottom
All the graves were lifted to higher ground
Yet where I lay they never found

I’m still here
Track Name: Blue Linckia (Linckia laevigata)
Blue Linckia (Linckia laevigata)

If you were to severe my arm, I would grow one more
As I regenerate I’ll still have another four

It would not be the first time autotomy has saved me

If you were to severe my legs, I would grow two more
As I regenerate I’ll still crawl on the floor
These pieces please feel free to keep all for yourself
They’ll eat and breathe and grow into unsightly things

Haunting you with their resemblance of me
Though lacking any sort of heart, I figure they’ll fare better in your company

They’re all yours now
Please keep them well fed because they’re all yours now
Track Name: Emerald Bay (Prionace glauca)
Emerald Bay (Prionace glauca)

I swore I saw you sitting on my bow
With a foot long smile trying to convince me
That it’s okay to give into the waves
And that I wouldn’t feel a thing
When the hounds of the sea start to take apart me
Ending my suffering

If I should pour the rest of my bottle overboard will it sting the eyes-
Those black eyes staring up at me from behind all those teeth?
Or should I save the last sip for my frozen gut and my blue lips?
Track Name: Rubicon Wall (Acipenser transmontanus)
Rubicon Wall (Candona tahoensis)

I chose this place because it has no bottom to interfere with my fall
Anaerobic beds of silt preserving still the shock of what I saw
Vivid descriptions I’d do anything to forget
But here I am crushed by a millions tons of regret

I will rest in one piece away from clawed things
That otherwise would eat what’s left of me

The world is not ready for what I saw down there

That fateful day, starting an endless autumn, words did sear my pupils
Liquid acrylic quickly will freeze a broken will in water heavy as tar

Somebody please take me to the deep where I can carry the weight of this burden
You left for me to carry in frigid waters high above my head
Surrounded by the dead, frozen like me in the salt-less sea

You can pay your respects at the shore
Goodbye, my love