by Forward

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released January 17, 2017

Forward: Voice, guitar
Josh Stacey: Drums, additional guitar, backing vocals
Rick Johnson: Bass, tambourine

All music and lyrics by Forward, expect "She's So Hard (on me)"
Backing vocals on "Sun's Out Again" by Ben Scott-Brandt

Recorded by Rick Johnson at Cold War Studios, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2016.

Mastering by Andy Reed:
Photo by Lance Nelson -
Layout/design by Jonathan Brandt -

Josh Stacey is very busy! Check out his music for...
The War Between:
The Bloody Lips:



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Forward Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Track Name: Control Group
Regrets - they hit us where we live
we watch the ground to watch our step
The path we choose is always wrong
we can’t go back to put it right

Control group, tell us the findings
We chose A, but how did B turn out?
We’re dying, so tell us in time, please
Is it too late to throw it out?

Director, help us if you can
If not, go back to figure more
Spare us the pain to see us break
Who’d spare the ones left unspared?

Control group, no double-blind study
We know too well the subjects all
The aim’s lost; the science is biased
We’ll see it through but we’ll all fall

Control group: madness of method
Conclusions hinge upon a doubt
Observe nowt and duplicate nothing
And live a lab turned inside-out
Track Name: Midnight Stupid Seconds
Midnight stupid seconds
A non-think through blinking red
Split-skull split decision
Thin line: living/dead
It's nearly ten years on
feels like you’ve just now gone

Everything was left undone
You went away far too young
Everybody you touched
God, I miss you so much

I wish you’d stayed, Jay.
Track Name: Devout
Easy faith in ease of being
No tests in the view you’re seeing
Hard odds show mirth its weakness
Violence hits heart with bleakness

it hit your heart
it hit it hard
It tore your mind and soul apart

Did He forsake?
Did He betray?
You prayed, but pain—
It stayed the same.

Trapped inside the scene you witnessed—
Cry and beg to remove the sadness
You bore the cross and pierced the sorrow
And sowed the seeds for a new tomorrow

The light inside should’ve died
Instead it spreads bright and wide

Is He fair?
Or even there?
Do you find hope where I don’t dare?
Track Name: Empty
Tight pantsing
And hip-hop dancing
In the glow of the phone
Nobody’s home
Text and twitter
Sad and bitter
Let’s stop off for a bite
The last of the night

In a sea of stupid women
And the fat-headed men
They drowned you again
The world of human being
Makes you wish you were blind
Or your eyes were behind

No one’s looking
And the sacred is gone
It didn’t stay long
Bar hopping =
Meat market shopping
When your friends drop you home
You’ve never been so alone

Has always been scary
We should’ve stayed home
Apart and alone
The death of once believing
That you’d one day be whole—
And the death of your soul

In the land of overplenty
Well it just goes to show
There’s nowhere to go
And stars—
Unseen in sordid bars—
Are revolving in space
Your life’s such a waste
Track Name: Evermore
Hey, where have you been?
Was it time that was well-spent?
I’d ask if you remember me
But you never are around to see

Read all my dense thoughts
Put them in my native tongue
Speak the words that I wanna know
I gotta know that I’m not alone
Your friends all have gone away
New hair, nothing new to say
But Mara, starlight rains on you.

You were wiser than your age (or mine)
But born in a wrong time
When no-one's good enough to know
And no-one’s gonna get the joke
You believe that we lived before?
There’ll never be an evermore?
Talks like therapeutic sessions
Stories lie in the digressions

Oceans couldn’t undo
The notions that you’ve come to
But Mara, the sun falls cold on me
Mara, hope won't ever die
Track Name: Forget It
Lost in all I’ve found
Languid and fretful
I met you, and I swear that my heart burst
I watched you through it all
Anxious and pacing
And bracing for the worst

And I feel that crushing fear
And resent it when it reappears
I must be a fool to be so insistent
That life remain so consistent

The heavens never change
But the bodies around them (who found them)
know they can‘t remain
I was with you through it all
But you’re not small forever
Things can never be the same

Can’t wait to bury my head
And fantasize about being dead
It’s so hard to live in the present
To trudge on and try to forget it

Is anything left pure?
Or any way to feel secure?
We can’t protect the people we cherish
The only certainty is we perish
Track Name: Thief
There’s no purpose for me
No reason to be alive
And I know it’s true
A lifetime with nothing to do
No direction for me
I can’t even see tomorrow
will end like yesterday
Overmorrow will end like today

No hope, none owned
None shown; it’s taken away
No goal, none known
No hope—taken away

When I get what I want, it’s not what I need
And nothing ever satisfies
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Track Name: What If's
What if it’s not them I hate
What if it’s me?
I take it out on everyone
To save myself
I can’t be happy in my head
Or in my home
I’m afraid of loss
I’m afraid to fail

Dark night closes around me
And I’m haunted by all of the what-if’s
Oh, what if?
Never mind the track record
I only ever concentrate on what-if’s
What if, oh, what if?

I’m too scared to look inside
To see what’s there
And I lie it’s easier
To look without
I never wanna open up
I fear it’s a trap
Oh God I’m such a wreck
Oh, please don’t tell

Dark clouds circle above me
And I’m terrified by all the what-if’s
Oh, what if?
Go on, say it always works out
I only seem to concentrate on what-if’s
Oh what if, what if?

But if everybody knew
My secret fears couldn’t come true
But what if they could?
Track Name: What Now?
She did what they told her
Good grades in their schools
Did well for employers
And followed the rules
But what now?
The “love of her life”?
An insufferable ass!
And holiness left her
So she cries and she asks
“So what now?”

She scrolls through the pictures
Of grins ear-to-ear
There’s no war worth fighting
In her hemisphere
Her world is so peaceful
Her eyes fill with tears
She’s hundreds of “friends”
But none of them dear.

Her parents are worried
She’s never around
And when she comes over
She’s wearing a frown
“Why so down?”
She drives herself home
But her vision is blurry
She looks in the mirror
And cries in a fury:
“What now?”

She just can’t explain
That the stories they told her—
The books and the movies
All said when she’s older
The world would be hers
Oh, the lies that they sold her!
Now that she’s arrived
She’s never felt colder

No reason for sorrow
'Cause nothing’s the matter
She takes medication
But doesn’t get better
She wrote all her thoughts
In a suicide letter
But she can’t bear to do it
Her family’d be shattered

So what now?
Track Name: Sun's Out Again
I don’t got no pillow
I don’t got no sheets
And I don’t got a bed
Don’t know where I’m gonna sleep
But the sun’s out, baby,
And the grass is green
And the sky is bluer
Than it’s ever been

I don’t got no job
And I don’t got no money
I don’t got any food
And that ain’t a bit funny
But the sun’s out, honey,
And the frost dried out
And the pavement ain’t icy
And it’s safer, no doubt

Now I lost my house
I can’t find my cat
My car won’t start
And I just sat on my hat
But the sun’s out, sugar,
And I’m gonna seize the day
And I won’t let any bad thoughts
Get in my way

Yeah, the sun’s out, kids,
Y’know I’m barely gettin’ by
But I don’t give a shit
‘Cause someday I’m gonna die