Primary Function

by The Runaway Five

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released June 11, 2011

The Runaway Five is Zach Wolfenbarger, Sarah Allen, Bobby Shields, and Ian Williams

All songs by The Runaway Five
except Intermission! by The Runaway Five, Fen Ikner, and Lauren

recorded by Tommy Rat, Kevin Dowling and Fen Ikner
mixed and mastered by Fen Ikner
acoustic guitar, vibraphone, and back-up vocals by Fen Ikner on tracks 3, 5, and 8

art by Adam Gilliland
claybots and insert photo by Camille Young


all rights reserved



The Runaway Five Chicago, Illinois


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Track Name: Love Song for Rio Nuevo
like a phoenix from the ash, between me and the freight train tracks
grow chain link fences, built to keep me
tightens like a tourniquet, these brand new buildings just don't fit
a parent's clothes on naive kids

crowds of people trying to feed a bigger one, but soon there'll be
security, cleaned up streets
make it safe for your investments by removing all the peasants
who needs me? it's a great time to be downtown

if you've never been alone here
then you probably shouldn't go near
don't you worry, we will clean it up and we won't hear em singing
we live downtown
bet your ass we've got a model, a florescent light to follow
just a little inconvenience and you'll see with your capital
we'll fix downtown

long ago there used to be local bands on the marquee
the kids are gone, but they're not at home
all will be well when we're no more what makes us true after the war
of zoning boards and franchise stores

i just want to ride my bike and see the workers all on strike
and tearing down rainbow bridge
but grand delusions held by men who don't know how to just say when
aren't hard to see, it's a great time to be downtown


all my life i've lived under construction
progress leaving road cones on my lawn
fancy malls mean fancy new obstructions
now i can see the neon from my yard

Track Name: Dental Hygienist
how long should i wait?
i'm convinced you're not coming
did you find your clean slate?
you're laughing but it's not funny

but now i can't move on
the ground is shifting
oh the clouds have frozen
this weight worth lifting

who said you could create
pages upon pages not worth reading
evolved to a new shape
your vacant stare's out breeding


[why'd you
why did you
why did you become] x 2

Track Name: Frittered and Wasted
i don't have to imagine
what my life without you would be like
'cause now i'm out of fashion
tossed away without a thought to slight
but i can't be concerned
i took something that i'm not giving back
maybe one day you'll notice
but i don't think you'll ask me for it

i, i'll just leave it alone
i never thought i'd be here waiting for memories to begin fading
you, you have all you need
so i do not regret my thieving, 'cause all i have is what you gave me

left without a passion for progress
left with just the faintest traces of a pulse
i thought you'd take the long way
it turns out you just thought you'd had enough
but i can't be concerned
despite a sinking feeling that i can't seem to shake
i left the battlements empty
and now i'm just left stopping bullets

i, i'll just leave it alone
i never thought i'd be here waiting for memories to begin fading
you, you have all you need
so i do not regret my thieving, 'cause all i have is what you gave me
all i have is what you gave me, woah
i'll never get enough from you
Track Name: Primary Function
left a broken shell
circuits laid bare, an iron belle
you found me among the junk
eyes barely shining
enough to see the trunk close

to find the source
of the malfunction
show no remorse
just a subject, a flaw to fix
a socket wasted, their chemistries mix

but i must serve my purpose
fulfill my function
my heart is not my own
but yours is beating faster
wish i were older but i'll just close my shining eyes

a thin blue smoke
the smell of solder
a girl provoked
a contradiction her sole defense
divide by zero to feel the friction

Track Name: Patient Zero
you left home you had a great ambition to be a great success
and i want to be the first of many you're going to impress
they tried to stop you in your tracks with every cunning plan they had
but no chance, you're mine, and now i'll share you with everyone i can

they don't want you, but they need you
i won't hide, i won't cover up my face
i'll be first, but not last
an epidemic is exactly what we need

the far east is far gone, despite every precaution they could take
you evolve too fast to be set back by any worthless drug they make
old men small kids, a targeted approach to bring efficiency to bear
but no mind to think just a ruthless deadly virus and you know i will be there
patient zero
Track Name: Drifting Away
i've been drifting away
thought i'd have so much to say
but now this time i will hold my tongue
i can't keep living, living like i'm young

cause i'm wasting my mind
and i know it's gonna rob me blind

enrolled in school of thought
where everything's legal until you get caught

but i'm low on money
and i'm low on self respect
my friends and family are trying to forget who i am

a hex on your name
or your soul, but it's all the same
Track Name: Intermission!
Track Name: The Scoundrel
he stands in silence waiting for the door to open
no shoes on his feet, no wind in his hair
a modest complaint issued to the correct neighbor
don't check the apartment, he won't be there

dressed in the same clothes like a bad decision
the scoundrel is lost among the crowd
is this the character who fits your fine description
take off your headphones, you're talking too loud

oh, you'll always look humble
you need a shower and a shave
as our economy crumbles
we'll expect you to behave

the sun is setting, does he get to go inside?
cursed to the street that leads him nowhere
a maze of doubt, working overtime on christmas
no missed calls cause nobody cares

Track Name: Expanding Horizons
it recently occurred to me in a solomn flash of irony
that when the end of this world comes to be we won't see it coming
if you extend the timeline long enough when most of us have turned to dust
and every forward line is behind us, it all seems pointless

should we start to gather firewood
or simply stare at it till you go blind
we may have five billion years in which to overcome our fears
but there's no stopping entropy

eight point three
minutes to go till finally we're running out of energy
and suddenly this system's closed
you and me
we're taking stock of what we had, it wasn't really all that bad
at least we'll freeze together

so fire up you're furnaces, give a shout-out to copernicus
because without him all we'd have is nothing to revolve around
together we were nitrogen, inert but still it burns the skin
come up too fast you'll get the bends, and i'll explode
should we start to build our starship mine
well i assure you folks time's not that kind
hope you have low expectations, yeah
[chorus] x 2 or 3 or whatever
Track Name: Mise en Place
measure some x-rays, study a black hole
i can't justify this expenditure very much longer

time spent studying in harsh fluorescent light, from the roof of a building flys a lonely kite
soft music playing, a kettle on to boil, mise on place for a meal left to spoil
i'd like the patience to wait forever, but i like the thought of you fixed better
the dark walks home were always alone, we walked in silence, sodium lamps shone
down on me as i watched the little bugs, the ones that only come out at night
pray tell me now have you thought this through?
drastic measure for one as confused as you
blood was soaking through the pocket of my jeans, you took me home to get me clean
the sun was coming up and i was coming down, we stared at one another until i just couldn't take anymore
try as i might, i can't understand what makes you think you've got a plan to
end up where you want to be, unless of course it's not with me
a meal left to spoil
i can't tell you that i want you i can't tell you that i need you i can't tell you that i want you i can't tell you anything
i can't tell you that i want you i can't tell you that i need you i can't tell you anything because
now it's not true
Track Name: Sexy Lightningbolt

i come here every night
i stopped fighting it a long time ago
it's never quite enough
the class war's over, son, we lost and all that we have left to do is



Track Name: It's Great to be Back in Zozo
it's always raining
i've been grinding for days
something so familiar
the music's always the same

i can't quite remember
about the hands on the clock
got to find the chainsaw
asked every kid on the block

flying my airship
captain at the helm
in pursuit of the dragon
all across the realm

i'm exhausted from the climb
i wish that i could just fly to the top
but i know i'm gonna die

i killed seven dragons baby just to make my way up to you
climbed so many fuckin stairs i'm gonna need new fuckin shoes
then a sixteen bit ultima atom bomb gets dropped right on my head
the only way to defeat you baby is to come back from the dead