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We Thought There'd Be More People Here

by The Purrs

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    The Purrs (Live)

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1.
You get the kiss and I get the pills You get the bliss and I get the chills You get the shots and I get the head You’re turning blue while I’m seeing red Get me through it, Get me through it, Get me through it, Get me through it Hey man I don’t have what it takes You get the chills and I get the shakes I don’t think you have what is true You’re turning red and I’m turning blue Get me through it, Get me through it, Get me through it, Get me through it...
2.
I’d do anything to make you go away - please go away Come back some other day An apple a day keeps the bad things at bay Far away from the stage All in all just please go go go away - Please go away The blue pill is for when I want to sleep well - oh well All gone but I’m under a new spell A speak & spell, a hollow shell, a fresh hell In the morning I’m under a new spell New spell, new spell I don’t sleep so well, sleep so well Alright, let’s roll… I’d do anything to make you come back, please come back, Flat on my back like a sneak attack On hallowed ground don’t shut your mouth Don’t leave no doubt - Oh moaning man there is no doubt I’ve lived too long, I’ve lived too hard Oh fuck it man, just get out - looking for a way out Get out - looking for a way out...
3.
No particular bar, no particular town Covers me in the feeling that I’ll never get behind these cold eyes I feel my temperature rise Somebodys taking a breath, somebodys taking a drink I want a place at the bar to sit Because everything is coming out wrong, I guess it's just the same old song Don’t talk about tomorrow because it's nearly here right now And if you take it away it's doubtful I will be here when you get it back Don’t talk about tomorrow because it's something that needs to stay In a place that keeps me hopeful for a brighter day There's nothing special about it, nothing you need to know There's nothing in particular I can shape into some kind of fate And feel like i’m not just a fake Could this be my chance? I just can’t decide There’s a noose hanging round my neck and now all my money is gone Because I spent it all getting high Don’t talk about tomorrow because it's nearly here right now And if you take it away it's doubtful I will be here when you get it back Don’t talk about tomorrow because it's something that needs to stay In a place that keeps me hopeful for a brighter day No particular bar, no particular town No particular bar, no particular town
4.
A steel river is sliding by the door And there’s no forgiving the things I've said before Well it's funny how nothing changes when you’re gone Yeah it's funny how I find the will to carry on I feel it rolling down the block There’s a change in the faces All the hopefulness is gone And I guess right here is where I make my stand With a good friend and a glass in my hand And I can feel a cold wind blowing across the room Sitting in a bar on a rainbow afternoon Try thinking this place is getting cold You've got to play together if you wanna play rock and roll Well maybe I just don't care about the fight Maybe I’d rather just lay down and die And I can feel a cold wind blowing across the room Sitting in a bar on a rainbow afternoon And I guess right here is where I make my stand With a good friend and a glass in my hand And I can feel a cold wind blowing across the room Sitting in a bar on a rainbow afternoon
5.
Half a dozen ugly people are hanging out in my living room They’d gladly jump me when the lights go out Collapse and contrast the center of my world My rock and roll world Don’t feel like I belong here, Maybe I don't belong anywhere I barely care what youre talking about The lights below me, Just bumming out on this scene This fucking scene Don’t say what you think or do what you want Just sit on your hands and play with the drugs Just wasting my time, Just hoping for hope, well I hope that it's true I’m bracing for the impact, connecting dots to trace the face Of people that I wish I knew, but there’s nothing there It's just a blank sheet above, white as a dove Don’t say what you think or do what you want Just sit on your hands and play with the drugs Just wasting my time, Just hoping for hope To turn out the lights that don’t even shine And all of my “friends” have crawled off and died They're fading from view too fast and too far The smell of the road, the smell of cigars The taste of the whiskey inside of you I’m leaving today...
6.
Loose Talk 06:08
Hey babe, hey baby hey I can see That you want to leave me You want to leave and get yourself free Hey babe I can see that you want to leave and get yourself free Yeah Sha la la la, Sha la la la, Sha la la la, Sha la la la, ho Let me tell you ‘bout the loose talk ticking time bomb Needs a reaction to get my opinion ‘bout living in this town With its distractions got you spinning Around and around and around and around I’m gonna pay for everything I’m gonna pay for everything that you need To get out of this town To get out this town and back on your feet I’m gonna pay for everything that you need to get out this town And back on your feet Yeah...
7.
I wouldn’t tell you my name, I wouldn’t tell you a lie I wouldn’t shut my mouth, I wouldn’t kiss you goodbye I wouldn’t howl at the moon, I wouldn’t hold your hand I’ll tell you so many thing you just can’t understand A taste of monday Don’t wait for better days, don’t wake up on the floor Don’t hang around waiting for some knock on your door I have a message for you from the underground You better make a move, you better make a sound A sound… I never wanted to sing, I never wanted to reach out You know it's constantly bringing me down You say it’s all very simple as you’re placing your bets Collapsing like a drunken marionette I wanna know where you’ve been I want to know what you saw I want flickering walls, I want to start a war I want to talk all day and talk all night I want to talk all day until the temperatures rise I want to talk all day and talk all night I want to talk all day until the temperatures rise A taste of Monday...
8.
There must be some location, Pull me out of danger Take your time I’m ready to go She’s asking me for something I don’t even know what comes when the place is a go No one is in control ‘cause constant revolution Leaves no time for something to say Yeah it looks like I’ve lost my way I really don’t mind the pain Cause it’s all just a part of the crowd I run around Just get me through the month, Just get me through to Saturday Now I’m in the Central checking out the signal Plow me with a double whiskey I’ve never had a summer, Never had a bummer Walking like I do this day The black and yellow taxi - Where we going he keeps asking As If i even know where the hell I want to go I really don’t mind the pain Cause it's all just a part of the crowd I run around Just get me through the month, Just get me through to Saturday And I’m going to the edge of the soul And it’s too bad I’m losing control Just get me through the month, Just get me through to Saturday My lover said to me “Yeah it’s much too much too much too much”. I really don’t mind the pain Cause it's all just a part of the crowd I run around Just get me through the month, Just get me through to Saturday I’m going to the edge of the soul It’s too bad I’m losing control Just get me through the month, Just get me through to Saturday Get me through to Saturday……..
9.
I was hanging around I was kicking around somewhere in Chinatown I was reading about I was reading about that shit I’ve been seeing around You know I’m not afraid of tears, I’m not afraid of dying But somehow somewhere I caught myself a fear of flying I was playing some town I was playing some town somewhere The kids were running around I was digging the sound I was digging the sound of the band It was a crazy sound You know I’m not afraid of tears, I’m not afraid of dying But somehow somewhere I caught myself a fear of flying You’ve got the same fear too? What are you gonna do? Somehow somewhere I caught myself a fear of flying You’ve got the same fear too? What are you gonna do? You’ve got the same fear too? What are you gonna do?
10.
Whiskey from a bottle but I still feel Nothing matters, nothing is real A party on the rooftop but I’m still empty Spent all that love you sent me The girls are hot but I’m looking right through ‘em Like a fat guard in a sad museum Can’t tell you but I got to tell someone Finally came to a damn decision It’s American as apple pie I never knew you liked moonbeams baby Everything is news to me lately Never saw those dark days coming Now it’s too late no point in running It’s American as apple pie In the morning we’ll be waked by sirens Another shrine built out of people’s garbage There are no perfect angels just me Accept what you got, lean in and kiss me Its kinda late and I’m kinda sober Don’t matter what time it is, I’m coming over It’s American as apple pie
11.
I was on the first train home because the things I have to say Couldn’t be said on the phone They’ve got to be said face to face I’m waiting at the cab stop for the pick up watching traffic flashing by I see the high rise kings from the bank scene flirt with girls just to pass the time I remember last Sunday or was it Monday My nerves were starting to fray So I stopped for a beer and a friendly ear but only got about halfway The situation started to degrade Her eyes were spiraling down the drain Then she fell apart and it broke my heart To have to turn to her and say These kind of things always happen These are things that bring me down Don’t give a damn about your problems No I really don’t need this now I really don’t need this, I really don’t need this now I watched cars crash on a big silver screen I watched it all freaking day I went walking through Fremont but I could not make the pain go away I can’t worry about the way things are Because they never ever stay the same And speaking of that subject I need to say that I’ve got no time today These kind of things always happen These are things that bring me down Don’t give a damn about your problems No I really don’t need this now I really don’t need this, I really don’t need this now Don’t need this now...
12.
Disconnected 08:06
I know you’re suffering I don’t really give a damn I’m wandering through this concert hall Had a handful of pills so I took ‘em all This time's for real, This time is for sure You’re telling me about your attitudes You’re telling me the way it is I don’t mean to stomp on your buzz But I’ve a plane to catch, I have to run This time's for real, This time is for sure If you’re out there watching me This will be the last time you see this fool I feel I, I feel I, I feel like I’m just passing through I feel I, I feel I, I feel like I’m just passing through Disconnected, so disconnected...
13.
Late last night they cut the power to the neighborhood The sky went black outside my window pane Then shots rang out and everybody hit the floor It was open season on us again I must admit I felt relief when the red lights came And the bullhorn demanded his surrender Yeah - It’s always a bad idea to let them know how you really feel They took him away in cuffs and stuck him in the back of a car And he looked out the window as the world passed him by Was it really worth it? Did it mean a thing at all? Would anybody remember when he's gone? I'm sure it mattered not to anyone in here We just carry on like we always do Yeah - It’s always a bad idea to let them know how you really feel Yeah - It’s always a bad idea to let them know how you really feel
14.
Cracked Head 02:30
Coming home one night from a nowhere bar Hanging out by the taxi stand Like a long white ghost that’s a little charred That’s when I noticed all the holes in her hand That’s when I asked ‘bout the holes in her hand La la la la, la la la - Your cracked head is so beautiful La la la la, la la la - How come I never noticed you before We took a trip down to New Orleans We were driving in a big black car You told me about all those things that I would never try I acted like I knew who you are It made you feel like a movie star La la la la, la la la - Your cracked head is so beautiful La la la la, la la la - How come I never noticed you before You cannot live where you can’t afford So you moved out of your neighborhood Grabbed yourself a little pad down the west end side Because it does your body no good It does your little body no good La la la la, la la la - Your cracked head is so beautiful La la la la, la la la - How come I never noticed you before La la la la, la la la - Tell me something if you get the chance La la la la, la la la - How do you live with a hole in your hand?

about

DAN'S TUNES
Covering Seattle's music scene from all angles:

There’s a collision of magnitude — big sounds, in hollowed spaces — when We Thought There’d Be More People Here, The Purrs’s live, 20th-anniversary album kicks off.

A year ago, I couldn’t have forced myself to sit through a live track (besides The Chicks and Sheryl Crow’s live rendition of “Strong Enough”), let alone a live album. Growing up in Oregon pretty much guarantees hearing over 15 hours of live Grateful Dead jam sessions every week. Cut to my adolescent revolt — finding out about noise-canceling headphones and blaring Avril Lavigne’s Let Go 24/7. (Don’t take it too personally Moose Almighty; I still loved your Talking Tracks session.) But despite my loathing for live albums, listening to We Thought There’d Be More People Here gave me a sentimental affinity for the background noises of a crowded bar and cheesy stage banter, so familiar (but far away) it’s practically a lullaby. There’s something poetic about a live album released in an era without live music — like looking at a scrapbook of moments gone by. I can almost feel the sweat from the crowd and the stick of a spilled Rainer under my shoe when I lose myself in the album’s frequent guitar distortions.

We Thought There’d Be More People Here (released May 7) came into my life while I was ambitiously and optimistically calculating the next time I’d be able to see (or be comfortable seeing) a live show. From the first track, it’s obvious that this sound is too big to live in the box where Jason Milne, tonal guitarist for the group, found the recordings during the second week of COVID-19 lockdowns. At times, the drums are so loud they drown out the vocals, but as with all live shows at smaller venues — or all live shows that we thought there’d be more people at — I didn’t come for perfection; I came for the experience.

Recorded at venues in and around Seattle (like The Crocodile and Skylark Cafe) between 2002-2014, this album is sonically authentic, riddled with purity only heard in a bar somewhere. So grab a stiff glass of whiskey, lay down on your fuzziest rug (a crowded bar may not be an option right now, so you might as well get comfy), and buckle up for all 14 tracks of We Thought There’d Be More People Here.


Opening track “Get Me Through It” stays deliberately slow (but heavy) with sparse power chords filling the emptiness, while vocalist and bassist Jima Antonio sings and screams, “Get me through it.” In a lyric sheet note Antonio wrote, “In any case, I am doing a lot of wailing on this one. I wish someone would have told me to dial it down…” For me, it was just enough — an intimate moment caught on tape.

After the wail-o-rama of “Get Me Through It” fades out, the album traverses through The Purrs’s Third-Eye-Blind-(but make it heavy)-meets-the-Violent-Femmes discography, including the band’s most played track, “Loose Talk.” “American as Apple Pie” does more for me, though, set into motion with the rhythmic drumming of Dusty Haze.

Antonio’s raspy vocals come in with, “Whiskey from a bottle but I still feel / Nothing matters, nothing is real.” The instrumentation is buoyant, with two guitars, bass, drums, and backup vocals that lighten the track. Halfway through, the guitars switch from the reverb-laden slow-burn riffs characteristic of grunge to driving, distorted fills that scream American anthem rock. The Purrs skirt the edges of many genres in short, distilled bursts in this live version. They’re the type of sonic bombshells only released on live audiences, and it makes me giddy listening to it.

Twelfth track “Disconnected” intros on cosmic tonal guitar by Milne. The song structure is disjunctive, with jam-band-esque rambling riffs reminiscent of 90s psychedelic rock. At just over eight minutes, most of this track is occupied by musical tangents or, as Antonio noted in the lyric sheet, “noise sculptures.” Refreshingly reminiscent of live music, lyrics dapple the horizon rather than driving the sound. Sonic trauma from an overload of Grateful Dead jam sessions be damned — this track is gritty and deliberate in its instrumentation. It’s a *jam* I can get behind.

I have a lingering desire to be swept up in a room of tightly packed bodies colliding to the last track, “Cracked Head.” The galloping punk guitar will have you bopping your head at a pace you’re out of practice for. Antonio’s lyrics give off a gritty Jonathan Richmond vibe as he sings, “Coming home one night from a nowhere bar / Hanging out by the taxi stand / Like a long white ghost that’s a little charred / That’s when I noticed all the holes in her hand.” The lyrics seem like an ode to the death of a Seattle we knew — or the ability for artists to live in a city with rapidly rising rents due to a tech boom — from a band that has witnessed the city changing over the past 20 years (their band bio states, “The Purrs don’t want you to know exactly how long they’ve been around,” but they’ve let the cat out of the bag with this 20th-anniversary release).

Since their formation, The Purrs have seen several iterations, helmed by Antonio and Milne. Liz Herrin (rhythm guitar and backup vocals) joined the group in 2010, and Dusty Haze (drummer and backup vocals) joined in 2015. They’ve released six full-length albums, starting with their self-titled debut in 2006, and among the heaps of canceled plans over the past year, The Purrs were demoing for a new album and planning a tour for their 20th anniversary.

Like The Purrs, many of us have changed course this year, moving our lives online to whatever extent possible. In that time, I’ve grown sick of polished Instagram feeds, perfectly mixed and mastered music, and live streams that don’t fill the void left by not being able to see live music. I’m warming up to the idea of live albums (at least until I get to see a show), but there are still many things a live album can’t do: Live albums can’t transport you to the time where we bumped into each other on the dance floor. They can’t bring back that first breath of cold air after leaving the tiny, crowded bar on a rainy evening in Seattle. They can’t replace being in the room the nights they were recorded. We Thought There’d Be More People Here will do for now, but it isn’t enough. So I’m coming for The Purrs’s real-life grungy 90’s psych-rock guitar distortions, musical tangents, and cheesy stage banter as soon as I can. For now, find me on my fuzzy rug with a glass of whiskey.

credits

released May 7, 2021

Mixed by Johnny Sangster, Crackle & Pop Studios, May-August 2020
Mastered by Ed Brooks, Resonant Mastering, September 2020

Artwork by Ron Crose, Pranamedia.com
PR: Chris Estey / estey@xopublicity.com

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