Release Date: November 13, 2001
The original working title for Neon Apocalypse was “Lemonymous”, an amalgamation of the song “Lemon Tea” and “anonymous”, intended to play on the fact that no one knew who Ender was.
Neon Apocalypse took nearly two-and-a-half years to record, as portions were laid down in a music lab at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, and other random areas. Part of the problem with the recording was the inconsistency in the storage devices used.
Ender, being a drummer originally, wanted to have real drums on the album, but didn’t have access to them. He instead created beats using a program called Hammerhead, turning the album into less of a rock/pop collection (as originally intended) and more of a pop/hip-hop/tech-savvy album.
The album’s running order was supposed to reflect a character progression, much like a concept album – it was supposed to be a journey. The website at the time told that story (which can be read below).
“Echo Papa” was originally written in 1996, but had very suggestive lyrics at the time. It was re-written in early 1997 to reflect a more socially-conscious anti-violence message. The actual song title comes from a Star Trek: The Next Generation card game.
The lyrics for “Lemon Tea” originally went to a completely different tune, but in the end it was determined they fit better with this one. That original tune has since disappeared altogether as it has never seen the light of day.
“ElevenThree” references November 3rd, 1996, and was written in remembrance of a close friend’s father, who died suddenly on that day. It has had many incarnations, but was originally written on November 2nd, 1997.
“Valentine” included a number of references, including Valentine’s Day, Ender’s girlfriend at the time (whose birthday was Valentine’s Day), and Valentine (the sister of Ender Wiggin in Ender’s Game).
“Weak” was the first Ender Bowen song ever played on the radio, as it received airplay in Canton, NY and in Ottawa, Canada on XFM in 1999. It was recorded twice – the original version’s actual session file was lost, so it had to be re-recorded for this album.
“The Ring of Love” references the same girl from “Valentine”, told in the aftermath of a breakup.
Chapter One – Echo Papa He awoke like a siren in the dark // And in looking out the window his heart did pulse // His vision like a mushroom cloud of pain // Not that a voice raised in hushed silence could attention gain // So did he rise // Hurled through the wind // To change all he saw
Chapter Two – Lemon Tea But reality lay beyond wild dreams // Its might too proud // For the one can’t overcome // It is a power beyond imagination // And confusion is masked in dazzling lights // So silenced is he who is tempted by fate // Hope’s door left closed but not forever gone
Chapter Three – ElevenThree Retreat he home // Like November leaves to the Earth // Within himself his spirit kept // A heavy heart and swirling head // Though he in himself a hero saw // Under which God’s creation did defeat // A hero, again, he will see
Chapter Four – I Could’ve Lost You But not such a distance traversed // For she with healing hands of love // Doth mend his wounds and raise his head // Pulse and pound his heart once more // For had he in his mission success // Not she could he have // Through which to find a palace in the clouds
Chapter Five – Valentine And so did sing the birds // Through imagination a-glossed, here became reality // In him a sensation of power renewed // Though through her found his conscience life // All became his as does truth to a god // Aware he not of doors to hope // Nor wary of his senses’ betrayal
Chapter Six – Weak Such power by man held corrupt // For whence love strongest they fell // And weak such force became them // But to save through love made weak all the more // His conscience she fed for the evil he escaped // She in his arms kept // As rain, the palace through clouds falls
Chapter Seven – Julia As a grasp to all man is at sometime lost // She with heavy heart impure of thought // Slipped from the clasp of love // Out of sight // Not out of mind // Like a candle, her love // For to take flight he to a beacon
Chapter Eight – Dogtown So he unto her image passed // Less a lover, more a temptress // For love alone his mind’s eye rests // Though she her lips to another // Wouldst surely a river of these tears overflow // He of pure heart then shattered // In whirlpools of chaos to this sound
Chapter Nine – Torture Thus a bleeding heart unto him born // Left alone he to his guilt // She of newer tastes // Though sweet her voice as poison // The drink of lust and lament // But thirsting all the more // Is the choice of life and death
Chapter Ten – The Ring of Love He like a mountain // Not as slow to rise up // Though forth these chills // Like an echo to a siren for all time // A scar her name unto his soul // These experiences like riches // Through life be attained
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