criminal hymnal

by serpentine

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  • Cassette + Digital Album

    this beautiful art object, featuring the visual design of LAURA HAMMEL, includes an elegant foldout with all the lyrics of the album, as well as a blank triangle grid that's ideal for doodling your own sacred geometries. from the original run of 100 tapes.

    Includes unlimited streaming of criminal hymnal via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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this is a sigil for self-transformation, drawn in audible-range vibrations


released August 5, 2016

guitars, voices & words by lily molloy. bass guitar by dylan molloy. drums by shawn dearmitt. recorded by lily molloy at lucky lilith's in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. mastered by alexis icon. visual art & executive produced by laura hammel.



Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.


serpentine Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

high-voltage psychedelic cyborg ballads

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Track Name: high water
look to the horizon; out over the bay. something’s approaching i just couldn’t name. over the boardwalk. up onto the beach. climbing so high i fear we may not reach. some say a rising tide will lift all boats alike but our ship is sinking now. dig into the wet earth. bury a chest. everything that you were just a spot on a map with an X. don’t turn away now if you don’t like the view. in the heart of a storm there is no way out but through. we’ll keep ourselves afloat, hang on to what we’ve got til a new wave crashes down.
Track Name: from jerusalem to salem massachusetts
they’ve all the mercy to feed the wolves with their only daughter. righteousness that is bought and sold. it warms their home but leaves you cold. sprawled out on the marble steps. gripping the stone. begging a hand to lift you from this world they’re built upon. but hey! you’ve gotta leave all that behind you now. you’ve gotta lay your trouble down. lay it down on me. nobody knows the trouble you’ve seen. nobody knows but joan. kindling carved by some son of man in far off old jerusalem. hell is real. hell is here. tongues of flame will lick you clean as you’re baptized in the embers of the empire’s splintered heart. but, hey: another albatross behind them now. you’ve gotta bring that hammer down. bring it down on me.
Track Name: wastoid blues
a call you won’t return. a tab you cannot pay. finishing touches on a deadline that just passed you yesterday. a finger you can’t lift. an eye that you can’t shut. try taking a breath but your lungs, they just won’t give you enough. put a drink in you before you put yourself in the drink.
Track Name: magmatic ascendant
i will sink behind your emerald eyes. stoke the creaking furnace down inside. turn this stone into a hearth and home to light your way through the night. you will grind the paint from your aching teeth. silver rings will rub your fingers green. try to snap out of this awful trap but wings of glass cannot last. figured somehow you would take this to your grave. rise up this morning, all your debts are getting paid. all right!
Track Name: i don't wanna be a ghost
i don’t wanna be a ghost! when all my time is over, let me leave behind my things/dreams/fears and go. cause i need another round on this goddamned rock like i need a hundred volts of electric shock. you would have me dull my shining eyes to cast some shade over my mutant bones. as if it’s something that i never tried to bury with me in my tomb. lay your body down under the dirt, suffocating every breath you take. then come tell me how to hold my hurt. warn me of my grave mistake. like i need any permission to live my life (that could be over in an instant, and that’s alright with me)!
Track Name: entanglement
wake up sweating from a dream. you were back in school again. the faces were familiar but everything felt so different. so drag your sole across the asphalt. the brakes on your bike are almost shot. you’re just waiting for those wires of brass to finally fall apart. it’s all coming back to me now. it’s all coming right on back again.
Track Name: song for a selkie
she moved up the coast of maine and took a selkie for a bride. laughter filled their days up and the roaring surf their nights. the mountains are waves but it’s nothing quite the same when there’s a barking coat in the cupboard and saltwater in her eyes. she said “my darling dear, you mean the world to me but i am of the sea.” the one that she adored she left to walk the shore and sing this song of woe: “my bonnie lives under the ocean. my bonnie lives under the sea. my bonnie lives under the ocean so bring back my bonnie to me.” she took lovers as she found. kind and gentle, all. but in the depths of her dreaming only one she could recall. one evening moonlit with her selkie’s name on her lips she stowed away on a schooner bound for an isle where witches lived. she said “i must be joined with my lover in the deep. take what you will of me.” “child, you must lose your human face and swim for all your days.” “so send me down under the ocean. send me down under that sea. land’s for the damned so i’ll gladly leave man and live all my days with the beasts; and live all my days as a beast!” so lovers, dive into the ocean. lovers, dive into the sea. heed not the call of terrestrial law but go down and live with the free.
Track Name: no postage
hello, my darling, how are you? myself i have felt quite possessed of a spirit of growing and changing. i wonder if you’d be impressed. or even if you’d recognize me, shapeshifting creature i am. sometimes i’m afraid you’d despise me. so many souls don’t understand. i try to live what you taught me. always saw you as awful wise. you learned so much from your troubles. now i am learning from mine. plenty i wish i had told you before you had to go, but we get where we get when we get there and when we’ll get there we don’t get to know. there is no postage on this letter. i have not writ down no address. i cannot count on it to reach you now that you’re both burnt to ash.
Track Name: thundercrash
promised not to ever let you down as you swore the same to me. yeah, we were tempting disbelief. underneath our feet the path fell out. though we knew what had to be, we’d keep on grasping for sweet release. embers of the doctor’s medicine: we’ve watched them smoke and smoulder in the bodies of our friends. honey, i could be your prescription, but you and i both know there will be side effects. clear to see that we were quite a match. the way we shone together like fire and ash. bright and hot and strong and not to last, though the roar will surely echo: thundercrash.