Pine Hills Ska

by The Knee Benders

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about

From The Knee Benders,

This EP has been years in the making, with Pleasure and Pain having been recorded in 2011, followed by the other four tracks starting in Fall 2012, continuing into Spring 2013. While half of the band headed west to set new roots in California during the of Summer 2013, final vocals were recorded during Fall 2013. Mixing started shortly thereafter, continuing into early 2014.

These five songs are by no means a comprehensive exploration of a sound that constantly evolved over the years as we played show after show in Albany. However, they each formed the roots of which the began to branch and were fundamental to each set we played, each song offering a distinct flavor of what developed into the complex palate The Knee Benders would satisfy night after night.
The Knee Benders as you knew them are no longer. The core of the band, Sam Pine, Tom Casey, and Kyle Hanson, are now living and performing in California under a new name, The Hectic Eclectic. Alex Gallina is pumping out funk all over New York with Ladies Drink Free. Jeff and Greg have uncertain musical futures, but have worked hard to keep this project alive when it could have easily fallen by the wayside.

Ultimately, these tracks are not a promise of an upcoming reunion tour, or the first of more to come. We won’t be seeing you at the Hudson River Coffee House this weekend. But we do hope that while you are there enjoying an egg sandwich and a large coffee after a crazy night down on Lark Street, you can plug some headphones in and always have a part of The Knee Benders anywhere and everywhere you would like.

From Sam Pine,

When asked as a child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", the response has changed over the years. It went from fireman to a New York Ranger to an aerospace engineer to "something in the realm of politics" to a writer. There was always the humorous answer that I would lead off with though: "I want to be a rock star". This dream that I am living in California was always just a dream; I never took it seriously because of the realities of society, until recently. In the fall of 2012 (when most of my peers were graduated and entering the workplace) I took a long look at my life. In the midst of withdrawing from college, fighting my parents, being broke, twisting up my romantic life and suffering the emotional peril (or numbness) of being a millennial, I discovered that performing my songs with The Knee Benders was the most fun I could think of. To me, being on stage was better than sex, better than any experience with drugs and alcohol, even better than the two combined. As a rational thinker with irrational passion, it only made sense to change the dream into something tangible. These past five years have been filled with strife, discovery, and achievement, and it has all led me to where I am now.

This EP is not a culmination of those years. It is a reflection of those years. These are five old songs (relative to my entire catalog) that were pieced together much like the aspects of my being were pieced together. It is a mechanism to saturate the brain with nostalgia so that we never forget where we started, and to see just how far we have come. It is for the fans that loved us even when we were too drunk, for my parents who gave me that white Ibanez RG that I was too inept to handle when I first received it, and all those who played alongside me: Chris Vergara, Sean Case, Adam Robinson, Rulon Feeney, Chris Bernal, Matt O'Neil, Tom Casey Blane DiGiacamo, James Kiernan, Greg Halzack, Alex Gallina, Jeff Brauner, and Kyle Hanson. Most of all, it is for this message:

Do as much as you can until you find what you love more than anything else, then do THAT as much as you can. You will have to make sacrifices just as I have sacrificed time, money, and relationships. But if you're doing that one thing, it's all worth it.

Special thanks to Dan Bokser, Anton Pasquil, Tony Potente, Will Schuster, and Dylan Watton.

Shout out to Ryan Muncan, John Small, Vinny Giandalone, Connor Heid, all the 146's, Nine Votes Short, Eva Petkanas, Chris Towler, Gang of Thieves, Ladies Drink Free, Krack Rock Krew, Bountiful Bread Crew, Justin Wax Jacobs, my Aunt Penni, and my brother, Jacob Pine.

credits

released March 3, 2014

Personnel:

Sam Pine: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Greg Halzack: Vocals
Tom Casey: Drums
Kyle Hanson: Bass (For all except Pleasure and Pain)
Jeff Brauner: Trumpet, Gang Vocals
Alex Gallina: Lead Guitar, Trombone, (Bass on Pleasure and Pain)

Crowd Vocals on Colour By Numbers: Dan Bokser, Dennis Syzmanski, Liam Gordon, Ben Breiten

Recorded at WCDB Studio, Albany, NY with Dan Bokser

Post-production mixing and mastering by Crazy Daisy Productions- Beaverton, Oregon

(Post-production mixing and mastering for Pleasure and Pain by Dan Bokser and Blane DiGiaccomo)

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about

The Knee Benders Albany, New York

Our music? Ska, punk, funk, hip-hop that got the bodies moving on the dance floor all night long. Made Albany, NY our home from 2010-2013. Unrelenting energy that never quit.

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Track Name: Eat It
I've got a thing or two to say
About our progression
To tell a lie and to be afraid
Are nutrients for digestion
And I could hardly look away
On this precipice I sit
From the carnage I relay
Why should I even think of it?

In the end, like all the books I've read
I will feed your head
And no matter what is right
I will make you fight

So give it up now
Give it up you're failing
Don't try to be something that you're not
You're a thespian with no training
Well I'm just gonna call it out, all facts are just the word of mouth
And I will never shed my doubt of anything I hear about
Said who the fuck is gonna make me?

In the end, like all the books I've read
I will feed your head
And no matter what is right
I will make you fight
Track Name: Leo
I've seen the dark embrace
Of a man with no disgrace
I've known what's become my own
And lived as my scars have shown
Still I've run like a lion
Charismatic, brave, and strong
Still I've battled my demon
Even if my mind was wrong

I've felt the burning flame
Of a heart with all the blame
For a boy with eyes so blue
Held your hand as you came to
Still I've fought like a lion
Charismatic, brave, and strong
Still I've beaten my demon
Even if now you are gone

Oh God, where have you been?
Can't you see what a mess I'm in?
All I ever wanted was to be free
But what's free when I've lost me?
Still I've died like a lion
Charismatic, brave, and strong
Still I've walked with my demon
Even if this is my last song
Track Name: Stereotypes Aside
Not on the job
Ain't ready to go
Is there something there?
Said I don't know
Sometimes I catch myself thinking aimlessly
My friends and I we play this game
Send our emotions up in flames
let's watch them burn
Just you and me
You won't get scorched if you're lucky

Na na na na, It's in the distance
Na na na na, Appease the needs of the resistance
Na na na na, It's who I am
Na na na na, And that's not so bad

And how I feel and what I see
What I can't get is what it means to me
My friends and I
We stagger home
Sit strung out waiting by the phone
Just let me laze the day away
By nightfall I'll be wide awake
Driving around this nowhere town

Na na na na, It's in the distance
Na na na na, Appease the needs of the resistance
Na na na na, It's who I am
Na na na na, And that's not so bad
Track Name: Colour By Numbers
Everything we built is riding for a fall
And everything we're building has broken down and stalled
This fire has reached the wall
So who wins after all?

Well I'm too lazy to change my frown
The sins of our father reek in this town
So sit back or lie all the way down
And watch the blood drip down her gown
Still one question lingers as the session suspends
Why a knife is concealed in the hands of our friends
To me, this system is worse and pretend
Like a stab in the back is a means to an end

Will the strength of the mass and the crass and the wise
Step out of the blacklight and out of disguise
Lean to the side you'll get a surprise
Don't lean at all and you'll break your ties
Even so who can know which path is good
And we're burned again like I knew we would
Lights, bites, pipes in the hood
The one on the stand never understood

What's the accomplishment of fame?
Stupendous, the interdependence of pain
For shame, you broke the rules of the game
But be warned, you have still one beast left to tame

We must prepare for a two front war
These next few years can redeem the past four
But first the dead must finish their tour
And the suits must come back from the shore
Everything we built is riding for a fall
And everything we're building has broken down and stalled
This fire has reached the wall
So who wins after all
Track Name: Pleasure and Pain
Strike me with lightning
Reignite these slowly fading embers
Send sparks right through me
Give me hopes for a warm December
Give me a moment on this issue
Give me the words, Can I kiss you?
Give me pleasure, and give me pain
Now let me hear you call out my name

Emancipation
Let me feel those silly things for me
Tune to that station
We'll find a song on which we both agree
Bring me out of my seclusion
I have reached my next conclusion
Give me pleasure, and give me pain
Now let me hear you call out my name

Mind is clear, my eyes are wide
I'm taking a step on the outside
The Boy Wonder is now a man
Who's the first to take my hand

I've moved along
Let's sit with blankets sipping on some tea
Two voices one song
Bust the lock, throw away the key
Here our paths are intertwined
Will you be the one at my side?
Give me pleasure, and give me pain
Now let me hear you call out my name!