Two Years On

by Better Than The Book

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about

Better Than The Book - Two Years On

I think the album itself speaks more than I could explain in a few words here, but I'd like to share some kind words which mean a great deal to me from my colleague and friend Vladimir Kuznetsov:
tinyurl.com/zc7huwy

credits

released February 6, 2016

\\\STOP HERE/// For a spoiler-free experience, please read these credits after enjoying the album!

All track were written, performed and produced by Nick Standing [Jabun], with additional writing and vocals from Bob Axell [Cyberdevil] on “Re: HipHopPunk” and “Head Above Water”. All samples used are either property of Nick Standing, royalty free, or are in the public domain (as appropriate) with notable credits as below. Artwork was drawn by Nick Standing [Jabun].

I’d like to extend some special thanks to a great few people who made this album possible.

Firstly, a huge thanks to Bob Axell for his contributions to “Re: HipHopPunk” and “Head Above Water”. It’s been such a great project to work on together and I’m already looking forward to meeting you in our next collaborative musical endeavour.

Next I’d like to thank my big brother Eamon for always trying to outdo me and giving me something to chase and drive me forward, as well as lending me his Korg MS-20 for the synth leads in “Wireless Networks Available”. I promise you’ll get it back this time, unlike one of your guitar stands ;P

Next, a huge thanks to my beta testing team: Vlad (who also made a fantastic typography pre-release video for the album featuring track 02: “Homecoming”! See it on YouTube here: tinyurl.com/jzazg9r!), Anthony, David, Sam, Roxy, Bob, Eamon and Eva for kindly providing feedback on the album and artwork during its progress and at the end, as well as just being a great bunch of people. This album wouldn’t be half as good without your help.

Another huge thanks goes to Thomas of e-instruments lab for putting all that time and effort in helping me getting some software working on my very old laptop, instead of saying “Time for an upgrade, mate”. Without you there would be no horns, and I can’t thank you enough for making that dream a reality!

Thanks to Andy too, who blasted his vocal chords in the gang vocals of the “One Small Step” EP (and guitar in “Woof Woof, Nag Nag”) without which, this album would have nothing to follow, as well as his general support and distribution suggestions.

Lastly I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone else who’s been a part of my life especially in the last 3 years for inspiring the songs on this album as well as your support. A huge thank you to Eamon again, my parents for putting up with the occasional rumble above the kitchen, my lovely girlfriend Eva who’s really given me the inspiration and strength to follow my dreams and stay strong amidst the struggles as well as for the lovely anniversary presents which helped to make the album art, to my other friends and family for their support, discussion and inspiration, and finally thanks to you who’s reading and listening, without which there would be no-one to hear the music I’ve poured my heart into.

Thank you again to everyone who helped make this album possible! I hope it brings you many hours of listening pleasure.

Sample Credits (All attribution is courtesy, not obligatory by law):

01 - Ignition
“Backseat Phobia” - Better Than The Book (From the “One Small Step” EP)
“Leaving Home [Paper Planes and Bottled Ships] - Better Than The Book (From the “One Small Step” EP)
“Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs”- John F. Kennedy
“Rice Stadium Moon Speech”- John F. Kennedy
Additional samples from the NASA Sound Archive
Additional samples from freesound.org

02 - Homecoming
Additional samples from freesound.org

03 - Hearts Racing
“One Small Step Speech” – Neil Armstrong

05 - Channel Surfing
“Night of the Living Dead” 1968 - George A. Romero
“1954 Commercial for the RCA ''Master 21'' television set”
“And Then There Were None” 1945 - René Clair
“Woof Woof, Nag Nag” - Better Than The Book (From the “One Small Step” EP)
''The Dennis Day Show'' - The Old Friend
Additional samples from freesound.org

06 - Cathode Ray Days
Additional samples from freesound.org

09 - Re: HipHopPunk
“Cathode Ray Days” - Better Than The Book

10 - Head Above Water [Feat. Cyberdevil]
“Hearts Racing” - Better Than The Book
Amen Break - “Amen Brother” - The Winstons*
“One Small Step Speech” – Neil Armstrong

*While the Amen Break is part of musical culture now and its copyright is grey, I want to say a big thanks to The Winstons for their contribution to music and give them the credit they deserve. I’ve put in my contribution and encourage others to do the same here: www.gofundme.com/amenbrother2

Horn sounds courtesy of Session Horns by e-instruments
Organ sounds courtesy of Kontakt by Native Instruments
Drum sounds courtesy of Beat Basics
Additional samples from various royalty free libraries

Better Than The Book and Nick Standing are not endorsed by any of the organisations, bands or people mentioned in the above Sample Credits (Apart from obviously Better The The Book)

Feel free to follow Better Than The Book on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest updates:
www.facebook.com/BetterThanTheBookUK
twitter.com/BTTB_UK
www.youtube.com/user/OfficialBTTBMusic

Better Than The Book is Nick Standing, AKA Jabun and anything he can find in the moment to create his beloved Ska Punk project. Feel free to keep up with his other musical endeavours and adventures on the JabunAudio Website, Facebook and Twitter.
jabunaudio.weebly.com
www.facebook.com/JabunAudio/
twitter.com/HurpADervish

Copyright Better Than The Book 2016

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Better Than The Book Burgess Hill, UK

Better Than The Book! A musical project by Nick Standing AKA Jabun. Heartfelt and high energy Ska / Pop Punk slices of life from a guy born in the 90s.

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Track Name: Ignition
[Fear be the gunner in my back seat
Fear be the gunner in my back seat!]

[Finally, if we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world... the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take... we have examined where we are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. Now it is time to take longer strides-time... I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary... we nevertheless are required to make new efforts on our own. For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last.]

[We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard!]
Track Name: Homecoming
Feels like it’s certainly been a while
Since I last wrote a lyric from my heart and smiled at my own work
But these years apart, they’ve hurt
And this busy life’s absurd
But then every lesson
Was inspiration
That gave this meaning worth

And I can barely wait
To play guitar again, until my fingers ache
And I can’t contain this anymore,
And I won’t restrain myself, I’ll shout until my lungs are sore
And I’ll thank each and every breath
That brought me to this moment now
Feels like, I’m finally home
Feels like, I’m finally home
Track Name: Hearts Racing
Two years on,
And the world is still a mystery
And it still just overwhelms me

But through it all
I’ve taken every lesson learned
Locked in my mind now it’s my turn to

Prove them wrong
And show them what I’m made of now
Since the last time I took my bow

And hear the sound
Held in my heart since One Small Step
Hope this is a moment you’ll never forget

Gotta put my mind into it
Gotta push on ahead right through it
Gonna grit my teeth and I’ll do it

And my luck, could still
Do with a little improvement
And my heart, is right
Right in the place where I wanna be
And my path, may not be so clear
But I don’t care

In this world
I’ve a million things to be thankful for
Friends, family and so much more

And I’ve met this girl
Feels like I found her in my dreams
Wanna spend each day making her happy

Gotta face my fears and fight them
Realise my goals and sight them
Gonna raise some hell tonight then

And my luck, could still
Do with a little improvement
And my heart, is right
Right in the place where I wanna be
And my path, may not be so clear
But I don’t care
I don’t care

Hearts racing at a hundred miles an hour; THIS IS MY LIFE; That’s what it means to be me
Hearts racing at a hundred miles an hour; THIS IS MY LIFE; That’s what it means to be me
Hearts racing at a hundred miles an hour; THIS IS MY LIFE; That’s what it means to be me
Hearts racing at a hundred miles an hour

And my luck, could still
Do with a little improvement
And my heart, is right
Right in the place where I wanna be
And my path, may not be so clear
But I don’t care
I don’t care
I don’t care

[It’s one small step for a man]
Track Name: Undead Education
I don’t know what to think
It all goes in the blink of an eye
I have no idea where those years went

Can’t remember my first day
All those constellations on my face
I was never one for popularity

But you soon learn that
History books and literature
Weren’t even half of what you needed to know
It’s a pity they never told me so

And the real test isn’t
Sitting at a desk with a pen and paper
Take note of this for later:

My graduation
A funeral for my formal edification
And the greatest lessons that you learn
Are from the mistakes you make on your own
Make sure these words are said
Real education’s undead

Seems just like yesterday
In a gown at the centre of a stage
A Masters degree is enough for me

But coming back to my home town
And the challenges that I’m facing now
Can’t help but think there’s something wrong with me

And then I realised that
Calculus and physics
Weren’t even half of what I needed to know
It’s a pity they never told me so

And the real test isn’t
Monitored by a silent invigilator
Swap notes on this for later

My graduation
A funeral for my formal edification
And the greatest lessons that you learn
Are from the mistakes you make on your own
Make sure these words are read
Real education’s undead

But you’ll soon learn that
Every lecture from the classroom
Wasn’t even a bite of what you needed to know
It’s a pity they never told me so

And the real test is
Stepping out your door once you’ve earned that piece of paper
And you’re the only taker

My graduation
A funeral for my formal edification
And the greatest lessons that you learn
Are from the mistakes you make on your own
Make sure these words are said
Real education’s undead

My graduation
A funeral for my formal edification
And the greatest lessons that you learn
Are from the mistakes you make on your own
Make sure these words are said
Real education’s undead
Real education’s undead
Real education’s undead
Track Name: Channel Surfing
[I can’t see a damn thing! There could be fifty million of those things out there...

... Survival Command Center at the Pentagon has disclosed that a ghoul can be killed by a shot in the head, or a heavy blow to the skull...

They’re coming to get you, Barbara!]

[If you’re still watching television on a small screen set, you’re missing alot!]

[What’s going on here? What kind of a practical joke is this?

It’s on the record...]

[Hi Lou. How’s the show shaping up for my opening in San Francisco, huh?

Yes... well except I can’t get the trio and the dance team you wanted, there’s a sort of a conflict in dates, but I’ll straighten it out.

Oh fine...

Harry did a great job on this arrangement; see how you like it for an opener]
Track Name: Cathode Ray Days
All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV

Boy I really miss those days
In front of the old cathode ray
There were only 4 channels then
And none of them were 24/7

Attenborough would talk about nature
9pm would show the latest feature
And good old Mr Motivator
Would tell us not to copy the Power Rangers

Wake me up at 7am
For a Saturday morning
Cartoon marathon

Record our favourites on VHS
So we can play these moments
Again and again

All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV

Boy I really miss those days
In front of the old cathode ray
When we’d rent a DVD
Just to sit down with our friends or family

Games were just the disk or cartridge you get
There wasn’t DLC from the internet
And all 3D and 4K nonsense
Wasn’t trying to enhance the experience

Call your friends and we’ll have a night in
You bring the crisps and dip
I’ll get the drinks

Who’s up for PS1? I call shotgun
Or maybe that new horror film
I’ll be awake for weeks

All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV

Boy I really miss those days
In front of the old cathode ray
Before the whole world was online
And the choice we had could waste our time
When if we wanted to watch we’d have to wait
when piracy still came on tape
And all the famous YouTube stars
Were still sitting and watching, just like we are

All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV

All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV

Boy I really miss those Days

All those memories
Sitting too close to that screen
Didn’t care we were zombies
Just give me back my old TV
Track Name: Make Your Mark
When I was young
I thought that everyone could change the world
Seem so far off now
We’re all just faces in the crowd
I’ve all this Inspiration
But a lack of motivation
If I don’t get up now then
I’ve already lost

I won’t wait, for a second chance
Now’s a better time than any to
stand up, throw away those doubts
that are just holding you back
Please don’t say, that you’re giving up
Nothing worthwhile came easy
And inside I know you have the strength
To take that leap of faith and follow your mind

But it’s harder than it seems
Counting the days I’m chasing dreams
As my calendar flips over and over
You said I can be better than this
Gotta try or I’ll just fail I guess
Hope one day that I can truly
Make a difference

I won’t wait, for a another chance
Now’s a better time than any to
Stand up, throw away those fears
That are holding you down
Please don’t let, yourself have regrets
Or dwell on times long gone because
This moment is what matters now
Just keep your eyes ahead and follow your mind

We’re all just one in 7 billion
Trying to get somebody else to listen
We’re all just one in 7 billion
Trying to get the whole world to, pay attention

And I’ll say, there’s no greater chance
Live for just this moment and
Wake up, find and chase your dreams
No one’s holding you back
Promise me, you’ll remember always
Life is short, a privilege
And you only get, a single chance
To make your mark and follow your mind
Track Name: Wireless Networks Available
I’m wearing weak
And motivation’s so hard to find
But the weather’s so clear outside
These clouds are in my mind

Feels like my life revolves around checking emails
I’m addicted to my new smartphone
How is it in this age where we’re all connected
I feel like we’re the most alone?

Maybe it’s time that I should step outside
And breathe the open air into my lungs
Just leave behind this laptop screen
and walk beneath the sun
The World Wide Web isn’t the wide world I should know
Outside these thin brick walls so I’ll
Shut down my Windows
And step out of my door

But once I get out there all I find
Are countless faces staring into pixels
Facebook, Twitter or Candy Crush
If we’re not searching for a signal

We’re a procrastination nation
Answering boredom with frustration
Wasting our precious time surfing online
While the real world loses our attention

Maybe it’s time that I should step outside
And breathe the open air into my lungs
Just leave behind this laptop screen
and walk beneath the sun
The World Wide Web isn’t the wide world I should know
Outside these thin brick walls so I’ll
Shut down my Windows
And step out of my door

Maybe it’s time that I should step outside
And breathe the open air into my lungs
Just leave behind this laptop screen
and walk beneath the sun
The World Wide Web isn’t the wide world I should know
Outside these thin brick walls so I’ll
Shut down my Windows
And step out of my door
Track Name: Better Than The Book & Cyberdevil - Re: HipHopPunk
[Hey Nick; it’s Bob

Yeah, just got your reply to the last email with the extra audio and stuff. Glad you got something out of it! You know, things like this I'm uncertain as to their purpose, as in: are they inspiring; useful, or more of a misuse of time to save and send. Yeah, I know you'll be doing the song thing, just felt compelled to attempt this one-take take on all takes and show it's a piece of cake with gauze, without mistakes like Oz, never earthquakes or laws, make us forsake our loss, it's truly great and awes, are in each face like they just took a break with a tape of Nas... or met a raging wasp and dove into a lake of moss...

Yeah! Alright, let’s start this thing. Let’s go! Showtime!]
Track Name: Better Than The Book & Cyberdevil - Head Above Water (feat. Cyberdevil)
Another goal and another lost year
Still unfulfilled and here’s my fear
That I could be gone tomorrow
But what would I have to show for it all

Another 6 string riff over drums and a bassline
Just killing time on some legacy I want to leave behind
Right from the start couldn’t help but make it from the heart
All just to play the part of the person that I wanted to be

Feels like I’m slowly sinking
Waking up from the far off dream that you’re living in
Clouded mind but I can’t stop thinking
That giving up on yourself and this path would be your greatest sin

Try to keep my head above water
But no one’s coming for me
What are you waiting for!
What are you waiting for!
I always figured that you
Make your own fate
But I’m not so sure
I’m not so sure anymore

Not so sure that they’ll give me a second glance
But I don’t care I’ll make my chance
Beat frustration with collaboration
Get hyped tonight and keep up the good fight

Strive to find the inspiration I had back then
Pep talk to myself before I give in again
Keep hearing you can go far if you work hard
But I’m pushing and pushing and seems like something’s gotta give

Feels like I’m slowly drowning
Trying to hold on, stay strong for the goals that you had from the start
Just wanna smile but I can’t stop frowning
Struggling everyday to make sure you stay true to your heart

Try to keep my head above water
But no one’s coming for me
What are you waiting for!
What are you waiting for!
I always figured that you
Make your own fate
But I’m not so sure
I’m not so sure anymore

Not so sure but I'm getting closer
Understanding expanding with every subsequent verse
I sit and listen, envision, enrichen
Cyberdevil shifting positions

Is it Better Than The Book? Bet it can be!
I've been reading reason never understanding
I can read books and books ‘til I seize to be
But if I don't start living there'll be no peace for me

Stop fleeing to dreams! Start preaching, teaching them!
Chase your demons ‘til you reach and beat them in! The world kept me waiting
Wading under the weight of my dreams
I'm just waking and breaking free

It's BTTB! Who said this would be a breeze
I've been chained, I've been shamed, I've been eager to leave
Stood at the eve on my dreams but didn't take the step
I looked down at my foot. Regret

But I'm not giving up! Life is a limited lapse of time so live it up!
Laugh and smile a while it’s a wild ride, so giddy up!
If every day’s insidious and fate feels hideous
Just make your own way; don’t wait mate, get serious!
Maybe you'll see this world is better than it seems
You just need to be yourself and believe in your dreams

Try to keep my head above water
But no one’s coming for me
What are you waiting for!
What are you waiting for!

Try to keep my head above water
But no one’s coming for me
What are you waiting for!
What are you waiting for!
I always figured that you
Make your own fate
But I’m not so sure
I’m not so sure anymore

Try to keep my head above water
But no one’s coming for me
What are you waiting for!
What are you waiting for!

[Ha! It’s shaping up
It’s going down
It’s getting right
Just a little more left]
Track Name: The Bigger Picture
Looking back seems I’ve come a long way
I guess it started in my teenage school days
Was just the kid with the cello at my side
Wish I could sing out loud, but I was too shy

Quite soon I found a guitar in my hand
Made some great friends and we started our first band
Played every week until they let us on the stage
That was the day I finally broke from my cage

And I thought to myself
“Are we ever gonna make it”
But what does that mean?
Having videos on MTV?

Maybe success isn’t where you get to
It’s how you go about getting there
And it’s best to just
Enjoy each single moment while it lasts

I owe a lot to older twin brother
Working each day to outdo each other
And with our Dad we built our own guitars
Precious memories held in my heart

Education made us go our separate ways
For a few years and I came back with a bass
To great old friends and a few new faces
But with my bro nothing ever changes

And I thought to myself
“Are we ever gonna make it”
But what does that mean?
Making cover of a magazine?

Maybe success isn’t where you get to
It’s how you go about getting there
And it’s best to just
Enjoy each single moment while it lasts

I knew that it would take more than One Small Step
Right back to basics, running through the Alphabet
Wanted to find all of those Mountains of Gold
While I was growing up, but not yet growing old

Stayed in my room and I kept the door slammed shut
And took the time to build myself From The Ground Up
Rise from the ashes and make it on my own
To go the Distance and find my way Home

What about the Bigger Picture

And I thought to myself
“Does it matter if we make it?”
But what does that mean?
Recognition following your dreams?

Maybe success isn’t where you get to
It’s how you go about getting there
And it’s best to just
Enjoy each single moment while it lasts

Enjoy each single moment while it lasts
Enjoy each single moment while it lasts
Track Name: Confessions
2 years on
And the world is still a mystery
And it still just overwhelms me

And I feel so small
Trying to stand above the crowd
Just wanna make my loved ones proud

These fears and doubts
I can’t let them control me
But I’m holding on just barely

To hear this sound
Let out my heart before I forget
Hope this a moment I’ll never regret

Gotta put my mind into it
Gonna push on ahead right through it
Take a deeper breath and I’ll do it

And my luck, could still
Do with a little improvement
And my Heart, is right
Right in the place where I wanna be
And my path, may not be so clear
But I don’t care
I don’t care