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Lead by playfully angry and charismatic frontman, Ryan Malott, 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS has received international praise for their ability to satisfy the musical hunger of fans in both country and alternative / punk genres. Right out of the gate, fans will hear dramatic differences from the previous album Sunshine In A Shotglass. 500 Miles To Memphis has re-invented themselves without compromising the blood, sweat, and tears from previous releases, creating an album that's nothing short of riveting. We've Built Up to Nothing has cut after cut of instantly memorable hooks, screaming guitars, Beatles-inspired harmonies, and even a full orchestra. Produced by platinum award-winning producer Erwin Musper (Scorpions, Van Halen, Def Leppard, David Bowie, Mick Jagger). Named after the distance from the band's hometown of Cincinnati to Graceland, 500 Miles To Memphis have been reviewed internationally as: "rowdy, insanely catchy", "heartbreaking", "inspiring", and "whiskey-soaked in bittersweet lament." Slather on an infectious melody, some bright, brash guitars and a touch of bluegrass fiddle and suddenly tracks about cocaine-addicted friends and coma victims praying for sweet death ring out like the perfect, invigorating remedy for the honky-tonk blues. This band is comfortable in almost any setting, largely because their music -- a mix of scrappy country and scorching Rock N Roll -- has a magnetic, wide appeal. (DER-525)
"500 Miles to Memphis' last album Sunshine in a Shot Glass was a wild country-punk album dedicated to what seemed to be the nastiest break-up ever. Lead singer Ryan Malott, in his attempts to improve in all aspects upon the last album, went out and had another friggin' breakup (or, God forbid, it's the same breakup still happening) that seems even more brutal than the last. Thus, we have We've Built Up To Nothing. I feel straight-up awful for Ryan Malott if these tunes are all autobiographical, but I'm thankful that he's so good at getting his angst down on tape. If the first one was a great break-up album, this is an epic breakup album. Where Sunshine in a Shot Glass reveled in the country/punk dichotomy, We've Built Up sees it as a fact of life and gets on with writing great songs. This allows the band to expand its sound out in great ways, like the Avett Brothers-esque piano-country-punk of Let it Go, instrumental interludes Intro and Dejas, the nine-minute-long kiss-off Everybody Needs an Enemy, and the 3-minutes-exactly adrenaline blast that is Shots. There are marching bands, strings, organs, pianos, banjos, and more. The title track closes out the album with a tuba-led strings and brass orchestra, and Malott pulls off the guitar-less song with such slick expertise you'd think he's been doing it forever. Some parts he has been doing forever. There are two-steppin' country-punk songs like the frantic It's Alright and East Texas Angel that have nothing distinctive in them but Malott's trademark vocals, solid melodies, and a punk strum. And that's enough to turn out a great song all on its own. But it's experiments like the relatively mellow, heart-rending You Loved Me Once and the organ-soaked romance of Moonlight have little to do with punk and more to do with emotion-tugging country and pop which make this album so infectious. This isn't just a rage-tastic break-up middle finger in musical form. This is a thoughtful evaluation of all the emotions that come along with a breakup, as filtered through Ryan Malott's singer/songwriter idiom. As a result, the tempos, styles and sounds of the album are incredibly varied. I mean, Moonlight could be on country radio right now and no one would know that 500 Miles to Memphis is mostly a punk band. And that's awesome. If you've gotten your heart broken, We've Built Up To Nothing is a therapy session and a half. If you like country-punk, these guys are the reigning kings. If you like adrenaline-fueled punk albums, you'll still like this album. And, amazingly, if you like hot country, you'll find treats for your ears here. 500 Miles to Memphis has pushed their sound out to new areas and conquered them thoroughly. An amazing release. P.S. Someone love Ryan Malott. Please." - Independent Clauses
"One of my absolute favorite albums of a couple years ago is the incredible Sunshine In A Shotglass from Cincinnati's 500 Miles To Memphis. That album is overflowing with (quite possibly) the best and most energetic merging of country and punk rock I've ever heard. Even 500MTM singer Ryan Mallot's EP with Kelly Thomas from last year is amazing. Where Sunshine In A Shotglass is instantly infectious and remains so throughout, We've Built Up To Nothing is a bit less pop punk and bit more barroom country rock with plenty of hooks. More than solid from front to back, this is a really good album. Frontman Ryan Mallot's vocals are again front and center and rightfully so. I just love this guy's voice and the slight whine and twang it has. Overall, there's a slower and more somber tonality to this album than their last one. There's less urgency but no less passion, perhaps you might call that maturity. One of the reasons I love 500MTM is that it still gets me when I hear a hardcore-style half-time breakdown in what is essentially a country song. There's even a riff in the middle of It's Alright that could pass as something from The Shape Of Punk To Come. It all just makes me smile. Another new element that the band employs more of on We've Built Up To Nothing is the ample use of a brass section on tracks like Dejas and the title track giving them an almost Southwestern flavor. If 500 Miles To Memphis keeps making records like this one I've got no problems with that." - Can You See The Sunset
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I know when I grow up I want to be the one that everybody loves. I know when I get older I want to be the one that you can rely on. I've found that getting older is a lot harder than it seemed. I've been burned by everyone I've let in, but there's one thing that I've learned. Don't give you heart to anyone. You'll get nothing back in return. I'll be alone all night. It's alright alright alright alright. I know when I die I want to look back and have no regrets. That same day I'll look back and regret the one thing that I said. And now I can't be left alone. I can't be trusted on my own. That's why I'm still not home. It's not right not right not right.
Track Name: Let It Go
I've been hanging in there lately. I've been hanging on by the thread of a noose, so why don't you cut me loose? What's going on? I'm hoping you'll forgive me. I'm hoping you will drop me a line, so we can hang out some time. What's going on? I hope you remember all of the good when this passes over. I hope you don't mind if I stick around a while. Let it go. Let it go. So you're feeling lonely lately and kind of used. It's all the same. Just call my name I'll be there soon. Do you ever think of me? Do I ever creep into your dreams? I hope it's me that you see when you're making love.
Track Name: Six Foot Hole
I've come a long way. I've got the scars and callouses to prove it. I'm not sure when, but them dues will get paid. Traveling the land in a five piece band burning tread and trannies on the way. Tomorrow ain't so far away. This road we're on I'm going to stay and the day that you don't hear a sound dig a six foot hole and put me in the ground. I've got me a tip jar and this old beat up guitar. If I play on another deaf ear I might go insane. But there's a pair of blue eyes in the back by the pool table all dressed in black and making her way up front, boys give them hell. You wont hear me knocking on them pearly gates. I'd rather spend my time in a more fun place. Shot of bourbon whiskey. Hell make it two. I need a whole damn round for my crew we're coming down.
Track Name: Barfly
I stare at the ceiling I'm chained to the bed. This weight I've been given sinks faster than lead. I fight for every breath until I can ride again. Caffeine and ibus is my Novacaine. Taking them now for to easing the pain. I'll give it up. Give it up some day I swear. I wont lie I'm a barfly and if you couldn't tell I'm drinking up the wells. The whiskey has made me strong. Be thrown out before much too long. Grab your coat. Finish your beer. Head for the door we'll stumble out of here. At my place we can be alone. The two of us that can't be wrong. If you would admit me we'll hang out all night. From what I can tell that would be alright. I may not be good but I'll be good for you tonight. Women and whiskey the liquor's to blame. All of my life for to buy cocaine. I'll do a line. You do a line the same.
Track Name: By Accident
I remember in 1998 you were so proud. You couldn't wait to see what the future held for me. I got a little older and fell in with a crowd. My heart was bleeding for that punk rock sound. I just couldn't seem to get enough. By accident with a loaded gun, I had an itchy trigger finger I was ready to run. I didn't think I would hurt anyone. I was playing it loose and having a time. I hate that I'm the reason that you don't shine like you used to long ago. All innocence has been stripped and sold like the dirt track racer down the road. Sitting on blocks is nothing but frame. I sure didn't mean to put you through hell. I've done my best to stay out of jail and by that right I think I've done pretty good. I've got a lonely lonely heart. You should have never let me pick up that guitar.
Track Name: East Texas Angel
I started out in Cincinnati and I ended up on the moon. I never saw this coming, but what can you do when that face that's staring back at you just melts you to your soul? It's nice to know I've got one. Please can we go? I know you're taken and that's fine. Just give me some time and I'll make you mine. You're my east texas angel. We'll swing across that honky tonk hardwood floor. We'll get sand in our boots and we'll two step until we're sore. You've got a friend in me but I'd rather be much more. I can give up the nightlife. I can give up the booze. If I absolutely have to you can choose, but I'd rather be out with you hanging at the bars, drinking lots of bourbon and playing our guitars. It's cool. You're here. It might be a couple of years but I'll make you mine. I always go back to that dock on the lake where we dangled our feet and sang songs of heartache. Waylon, Willie, Loretta and Emmy Lou. I'll sing anything you want me to, because I'm yours, you ain't mine, don't take too much time if you don't mind. If give you all my love and then I'll give you more.
Track Name: Moonlight
Picture perfect love is a major motion picture on the big screen where true love prevails and all is well in the end. I want to be a part of this strange and distant world and play the role of the boy that ends up with the girl. Please. Take a chance with me. We can turn off the back roads and keep the lights low. We can crank up the radio nobody will know anything we do under that moonlight. Unlike the films I see they don't happen to you they don't happen to me. I curse the day I ever had hope. I'm just set up for a let down. I shouldn't have to play these cards that I have been dealt. I wan to fold. I just want out. But we drink and fight and the hate just grows until we're feeling vertigo and everybody knows all the things we do under that moonlight. The whole world's watching Gone With the Wind and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
Track Name: No Sympathy
I don't mind to work you see? There's nothing in this life for me that I would rather do when the day's over and through. Working hard all the time, I ain't got much but I try and explain that I'm doing fine, but they think I've lost my mind. I ain't asking for much. Just to get by. Fine living is such a mystery to me and you. No sympathy. Fancy things ain't much to me nor do I aspire to be much to anyone. My heroes are dead and gone. I gave up a long time ago trying to escape the undertow and I'm swimming out to sea. Will you drown with me. I ain't asking for much. I sure as hell don't want the world. Fine living is such a mystery to me and you. No sympathy. Would it be okay if I kept an eye on you through your bedroom window while you sleep. Would it be alright If I stayed in bed with you all day and night one last time?
Track Name: You Loved Me Once
I know I deserve all that I get. Tried so long to deny it. You were no angel either. I know I know. One shattered picture frame. That big tooth smile, that's my old flame. It's still burning bright. You might hate me now but you loved me once. Chicago ain't so far away. I tried to make you stay. You gave up everything. I know I know. Some truths aren't worth repeating. I gave up all my reasons. You didn't want any part. You might hate me now but you loved me once. I gave all I had to give. May not have been what you needed. I did my best to be conscious. I know I know. It's hard to live up to the perfect man you wish me to be. Please don't hold it against me. You might hate me now but you loved me once.
Track Name: Dejas
Track Name: Shots
There ain't a liquor store around for miles. This dry county is giving me the shakes I grab another smoke. Nicotine and a couple of pills can cure the craving of a pabst blue ribbon and bourbon. I want to go home. One, two, three, four shots I'll be overboard until five, six, seven or eight in the morning I'll be gone. I'll be gone. It's drier than a dessert here. A couple of hours before I'm seeing the oasis of a neon sign. Hank is on the radio singing loud that hits bucket's got a hole. He can't buy no beer.
Track Name: Lead Me On
You didn't seem to care when you caught me staring through the crack in the doorway you left. You turned around and slipped off that sundress and I nearly fell to my knees. Can you spend one night with me? Darlin why do you got to tease? Here I am lead me on. I've been holding out now for far too long, but I'll keep the door open if you decide to come along. I've got no need to hide what I'm feeling, discretion is no part of me. The chase is on, but I keep on running. I seem to get farther away. Did I come on too strong? Why do you let me hang on? I listen to our favorite songs on repeat. I stare at that mess of bedsheets. It looks like you had yourself a good time with me. I guess that is all it will be. But it ain't too much fun for me. I guess I'm just a memory. Here I am lead me on. I'll keep holding out until you say that we're done. I ain't going to leave here, ain't going to leave until the cops show up on your front lawn and they drag me away unless you want to come along.
Track Name: Everybody Needs An Enemy
I think some day that I might drown from the tears of the people that I've let down. I made a list of all my wrongs. I ran out of paper it was too damn long. You will never catch me in this dive oh lord, because I'm trying to do a little better than I did before. There've been a few good women to catch my fall. I never could seem to give them my all. I'd like to tell you I did my best. I wish I had and that I do regret. I've tried to make amends and apologize, but I will always be a screw-up in others' eyes. Everybody needs an enemy. Someone to make it black and white. It you want I'll be that guy for you tonight. Everybody needs an enemy. Were the good times really all that good? I know the low points never got as bad as they could. I never meant to put you in harm's way and it's a heavy load that I still cary today. Good lord I, good lord I know. I'm trying but it's going slow. Some say that I'm too little too late. You can all piss off, because that's not the case, so just cock the hammer and take your aim. I know either way you'll be cursing my name.
Track Name: We've Built Up To Nothing
All the significance becomes irrelevant. The cracks in the foundation will define us and carry us home. We've built up to nothing. What you expect you'll never get, so why even bother at all. All for love and all for spite, we don't give a damn we're doing it anyway. We've Built Up to Nothing.