World's Strongest Dog

by Long Neck

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1.
02:58
I could be a leech, or I could be a termite--burrow and eat like it’s all I have in my life. Watch a home crumble, a world shrivel up Stay firmly fixed to the point I corrupt. I want to eat Slices of peach That I Cut with my own knife Rain is falling--I feel every drop Wind is blowing--don’t want it to stop Walk with a limp and I feel every step I am a prototype, I am a mess I want to build my own fire Silver maple and sycamore Empty bottles and cans ‘cross the floor “Drinking alone is such a bore” We’ve heard it all before Leave the campsite cleaner than when I found it I want to build my own fire Cut peaches with my own knife, and Live better than a parasite, and Do more with my life I want to build my own fire I want to build my own fire I want to build my own fire
2.
02:41
She dug her nails into the bulk of me Reminded me of who I’ll never be What kinds of things won’t belong to me She twisted her wrist to insult the injury How long can I fake it? Arms crossed like a stress blanket Arms crossed Disconnected imagery And a troubled frequency I want to write about every color I’ve seen, Bike reclaimed by the ivy, Cicada latched to a locust tree I’ve reached the stage where I want to explain myself in a spotlight in my mind. But the audience is silent and so am I, so I hear myself apologize cos it can be exhausting to be standing by my side. Disconnected imagery And a troubled symmetry I want to write about every color I’ve seen But, what I write becomes self-deprecating She makes it so damn easy It’s not who I want to be It’s not who I want to be
3.
02:20
I keep a message that I wrote to you as a reminder of what you put me through, as a reminder that I am strong too, as a reminder I’ve lived splendidly without you. I’ve lived splendidly without you. But to continue returning to the choice I made is tiresome, shakey and tangled and frayed. The trust that I poured into myself can be so strained. I’ll be careful to not doubt her heart again. You see rings In the new break of an old tree As marking Each year of suffering You will sit and waste your time (counting)
4.
02:49
Downy coat Letting loose its feathers, as if I am molting, like I am shedding this year completely And I face the cold Bare-skinned and ready I’m still as large as the world that I was born in I bear the weight of my essence every morning Loss of feathers doesn’t make my shadow any smaller I resolve to stand a little taller I resolve to stand a little taller Silver hairs Hidden like some long-forgotten and overgrown trail buried, wild, in a forest that keeps growing and keeps growing and keeps growing Where the light turns everything Dappled as a grey horse, as a starling’s winter plumage One day, they’ll be more intrusive I’m still as large as the world that I was born in I bear the weight of my essence every morning And I’m so tired of submitting always to this pressure But it doesn’t make me something lesser No, it doesn’t make me something lesser I resolve to drink alone no longer I resolve to start the new year stronger I’m still as large as the world that I was born in I bear the weight of my essence every morning Loss of feathers doesn’t make my shadow any smaller I resolve to stand a little taller I resolve to stand a little taller
5.
I need you like a horse needs a break in its leg I need you like I need to set fire to my bed Where you see and hear me now is my home And you are not allowed to cross this threshold You have no claim to it-- My body, my heart, or my friendship Where you see and hear me now is my home And you are not allowed to cross this threshold You were crying and holding my face like it was a cliff’s edge Let go and you’d drop down with no trace I’ll watch you fall anyway You have no claim to it-- My body, my heart, or my friendship
6.
03:19
They lined their windows with salt Buried their dog in the front yard How he was so deeply loved, and How he’ll spend his slumber standing guard Put on a brave face Your friends are waiting Your mom is calling You can’t stop running When did you first realize Everything has a limited timeline? In the backseat, age four or five Tears on the fabric and stinging my eyes All that you can’t see Hidden purposefully, or Out in the open, we Can feel so broken. So put on a brave face Your friends are waiting Your mom is calling You can’t stop running When words can’t say enough about every ounce of love that you feel in your bones and blood, how can you let it out? When you go to sleep, All that you can’t see, or Shared prematurely, or Hidden purposefully Claims space in the Backseat of Your heart and how you think All the while You dream of Wildcats and ghosts in the creek In the backseat, age four or five Tears on the fabric and stinging my eyes
7.
These awful things I feel at night settle in my bones to fossilize. My bed is too small, but I grow into (it) I grow into Slowly Slowly When my heart starts beating fast, it’s echolocation--what’s bouncing back is an image I see that is burned into It’s burning through Slowly Slowly I cannot discern how time passes I rely on beer bottles as hour glasses I cannot name the type of sadness in your eyes But I am trying so hard not to cry Slowly Slowly The incarnations we’ve shed in this place unfold and stare each other in the face. There are more forms we can grow into We’re growing too
8.
02:06
Can’t look you in the eye like a wolf at a campsite--wary and shameful of taking the first bite. It’s not that I don’t find you appealing, just don’t want to be too revealing. Maybe one night, I’ll get drunk and I will tell you something honest Don’t know if it’s a prediction or if it’s a promise Did the tremor in my hand crack my silver band? Did the tremor in my hand crack my silver band? I am happy with you near me, dual shadows on the ground Terrified to think that I could lose what I just found Maybe one night, I’ll get drunk and I will tell you something honest I don’t know if it’s a prediction or if it’s a promise
9.
03:51
There’s a slow burn in behaviors unlearned. Soft or relentless, hard-earned patience, consistent work, and over-awareness. I am afraid I’ve led others astray--mimicry in motion, sincerity in name, bitter-tasting potion and doubt growing shame. Call it “dramatic”, an “overreaction.” I didn’t ask you--my hurt is my own. I watched the plates crack, I watched it grow up ‘round the trees--the vines wrapped so tightly. Parasitic hunger, block out the sunlight, gulp down all the water and suck the soil dry. She said, “You’re the most delicate person I know” She said, “You’re the most delicate person I know” When the sweat broke, smell tobacco smoke, watch the fireplace be stoked. I am afraid of great billows contained and a home engulfed in flame. She said, “You’re the most delicate person I know”
10.
02:40
You said something (that) you shouldn’t have Cos I Feel spoiled by kindness, and Call it what you will My love’s too big to fail You don’t say anything You don’t say anything You don’t say anything anymore December moon all in silver Full and greedy Some hunger keeps my heart beating, and All the space that we occupy It’s not the sleeping alone that gets me It’s knowing the reason why I can’t stop thinking I can’t stop thinking I can’t stop thinking about Maybe, if I clean up my act Someone will love me back

about

Lily Mastrodimos pines for growth on Long Neck’s sophomore release, World’s Strongest Dog. With the imminent departure from her mid-20s, the songwriter and guitarist felt acutely aware of the waning freedom and looming responsibilities. On the band’s follow-up to Will This Do?, she meditates on the last two years of her life—from friendships and romance, to getting older and changing habits—to craft an elegant reflection of self that poses maturity and awareness, along with an evident evolution in both lyrics and musicianship.

Describing the band’s 2018 debut album as emotionally draining, Mastrodimos contrasts the 10-song World’s Strongest Dog as “anxious to be better to myself, to be my own person, to feel the love that I want, and waiting for all of that to happen.” The hardships addressed on the debut now emerge as revelations: holding herself emotionally accountable, a further understanding of herself and those around her, and first steps toward pursuing the person she craves to be.

Lyrically, Mastrodimos wanted to be a little more adventurous while still staying true to her mission with Long Neck: to get personal, speak her truth, and connect with listeners. With World’s Strongest Dog, her lyrics have undoubtedly bloomed, partially through a disconnection that she attributes to better examining her emotions. As with all internal journeys, a certain amount of solitude is required, and with a strong background in science, Mastrodimos uses nature as a device to dig deep: “Everything in nature has a law, or a rule, or a relationship that connects it to everything. There’s always something that makes it clear to me. It’s not always easy to talk to human beings, or to figure out a tangle of a bad relationship.”

On opener “Campfire,” Mastrodimos reflects on a particularly dark moment from last year, comparing herself to a leech and a termite in order to showcase her desire to crawl out of a desperate place. She passionately croons, “I want to build my own fire,” as the drums kindle, the guitars swell, and the sensation of metaphorical flames fuel what’s to come. Breaking into flight amidst chugging guitars, “Bird” provides an undercurrent of soothing keys and the resolution to stand a little taller. “Backseat” is written from her perspective as a child seeking protection and grappling with mortality, guided by a spirited chorus of fleeting “oohs” and playful drums. “Broken Ring” and “Bad Words” showcase Mastrodimos’s softer side of songwriting, honing in on her fingerpicking and forthright lyrics, while rockers “Untitled” and “MDP” display her strong command of the guitar and the band’s ability to write anthemic knockouts.

Recorded with her band—John Ambrosio (drums, auxiliary percussion), Kevin Kim (guitar), and Alex Mercuri (bass, backing vocals)—World’s Strongest Dog showcases the band’s perfectionist mentality. With engineer and producer Tom Beaujour (who also worked with the band on their debut) at Kaleidoscope Sound in Union City, New Jersey, they fine tuned guitar and bass tones, experimented with Beaujour’s pedal collection, boosted the amount of overdubs and guitar solos, and worked together to create a truly stellar follow-up that is full of new and intriguing growth for Long Neck.

“You’re not expected to change overnight,” says Mastrodimos of World’s Strongest Dog. “Everyone’s on their own path. Trying to better yourself for the sake of yourself, and the people around you—that takes a lot of time. You need to give yourself that space to explore it.”

by Cynthia Schemmer

credits

released April 10, 2020

Lily Mastrodimos: guitar, vocals, keyboard, synthesizer, glockenspiel
John Ambrosio: drums, percussion
Kevin Kim: guitar
Alex Mercuri: bass, backing vocals, piano on "Campfire"

All songs written by Lily Mastrodimos

Produced by Tom Beaujour + Long Neck

Recorded + Mixed by Tom Beaujour (Kaleidoscope Sound, Union City NJ + Nuthouse Recording, Hoboken NJ)
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music
Mastered for vinyl by Dave Eck at Lucky Mastering
Additional Engineering by Jeremy Delaney
Drum Tech: Kyle Cassel

© Long Neck Music, ASCAP

~THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED TO OUR INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN! WE LOVE YOU!~

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Long Neck Jersey City, New Jersey

Long Neck is Lily Mastrodimos. This is some of her music. She hopes you enjoy it.

Have a great day.

**********************
Lily: guitar, vox (she/her)
Evan: guitar (they/them)
Alex: bass, vox (he/him)
John: drums (he/him)

*********************

Booking:
jeremy@lostandfoundtouring.com
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