Ten Kills the Pack has today released the new song titled ‘God, Love, Prescriptions, and Politics’ via Nettwerk Records.

Beautifully crafted superbly within it’s own style, ‘God, Love, Prescriptions, and Politics’ becomes a timestamp and social arousal with the obvious subject mater while adding a touch of that much needed humanity to show that there is a better way for all of us. You don’t need to point a finger to raise a hand to expose the front that we have all poised.

Musically their is strife mixed with melody. Clearly Sean Sroka has his own style but with ”God, Love, Prescriptions, and Politics’, we get a glimpse of it’s bleeding heart. This is the perfect first bookend to a long and storied career in music.

About ‘God, Love, Prescriptions, and Politics’

The rollicking track finds songwriter Sean Sroka at his most combative, opening up about his philosophical beliefs on social politics and manipulation through sarcastic quips and hard-hitting instrumentation.

Sroka elaborates on the song saying:

“As artists, we’re always finding the blend of the internal and external. This song swings towards the external while internally trying to find understanding. It’s about our collective state. Perspectives on how someone can become something they weren’t, their excuses, how they’re destructively and unknowingly influenced, how righteous they are but how wrong, how their belief in hate is more important than their needs, and how manipulated one can be for someone else’s direct gain…really, nothing new I suppose.”

The song follows in the vein of the recent release, Thank You For Trying: ACT I. The first in a two-part album, Sroka provides listeners with a gut-punch of emotions as he gets brutally honest about his mental anxieties, late-night wishes, and life on the road. It all comes together to tell the moving story of the artist’s journey through shades of dream-like elegies and grungy arrangements.

About Ten Kills the Pack

Canadian Sean Sroka is the kind of self-deprecating singer-songwriter that pens his fears in a way that blends a punk rock ethos with the calm and kindness of folk. The front man for indie outfit Ten Kills the Packhas become known for his confessional-style lyricism that explores the rough edges of the human condition. Sroka approaches his life as a musician with a raw passion and sincere attitude that stems from his DIY days cutting his teeth in the music scene of his hometown Toronto or playing in his sludgy punk band around the city.

His independence guided the 2019 full-length Force Majeure that zeroed in on the hustle and bustle of city life, a solitary, self-described “guy with guitar” effort recorded in apartments across Toronto. While follow-up Life, Death & Afterwards (2021), expanded his scope to focus on the cerebral and philosophical. Now, with a more direct and unvarnished backdrop, Sroka scales the next level, developing a pack of homegrown demos into a symphonic whole colored by resonant harmonies, moonstruck keys, and gritty energy that juxtaposes the pretty and intricate details. Ten Kills the Pack unveils the new album Thank You For Trying. “Segmented into two “acts,” Ten Kills the Pack presents a twelve-song narrative that unpacks the “artist’s journey,” illustrating a message of hope while refusing to shy away from all the bumps and bruises felt along the way. Sroka inhabits a narrator who tells stories that loosely mimic his own experiences.

It’s a tactic that calls to mind some of the greatest songwriters like Bob Dylan or Lou Reed, whose mystical musings often blur the lines between fact and fiction. It’s these blurred edges that allow the songs to be so uncomfortably honest, devoted to loneliness, desire, futility, failure, and every bit of hope in between. Sroka recruited Marcus Paquin(The Weather Station, The National, Arcade Fire) who helped bring this vision to life, serving as the album’s co-producer.“

Curbside Panic Attack” opens with a devastatingly honest account of the deafening silence felt at the height of a depressive episode. Originally conceived as a poem, the slow-burner feels worn and weathered as the pitter-patter of the snare drum echoes the feeling of catching your breath. Triumphant horns and screeching guitars bring the song to a joyous climax.“

Stay Up Late,” “Paragraphs,” and “Love Wouldn’t Take Me Back” hear hushed chorus vocals that buzz around like leftover longings floating above the pillow at 2 AM. They make searching for love feel all-encompassing and singular at the same time. Then there’s “Honestly, Fuck You, ”the song for which the album’s title was chosen and perhaps Sroka’s most unfiltered effort. It’s a candid ode to touring musicians and the mental conflicts that arise from life on the road.

Tapping into the underbelly of the music industry, Sroka holds a spotlight on the hardened conditions and mental anguish frequently thought of as “necessary” or commonplace for an artist. Lines like Honestly, thank you for trying, although your podcast is shit, highlight Sroka’s dark wit that can be heard throughout the record. “The song is a swirling accumulation of situations and feelings from the road that rolled through my head when I started writing while driving home one night.

Within the weight of these moments that needed to be laughed at or faced, the song’s point of gravity is a personal story of a relationship ending thousands of miles from home while trying to get through a deteriorating stomach lining issue from alcohol and anxiety. When I say this all out loud, it definitely sounds a bit dark, but this song really is just a long-winded and funny way of saying ‘thank you’ to those friends who get you through it when it truly feels like you can’t.”Written over seven years, “Theo” serves as a therapeutic meditation on the life of the seminal artist Vincent Van Gogh.

Loosely based on the letters written between Van Gogh and his brother Theo, Sroka attempts to envision and embody the ultimate artist’s journey. He explains: “For Vincent, Theo and [the] Letters became a symbol for a lot of different things within any artist’s life; a critic, a therapist, a glimmer of hope, a chance, a denial, a lack of understanding, a piece of love, a mirror, a lack of connection, a page to acknowledge growth, a home you can fall into, a loss, and a ledge to hold onto. This is what I needed others to feel. To be a voice and continuation of his story of loss, strain, and artistic bruise.”

“Impossibly Incredibly” concludes the album’s first act by juxtaposing the narrator’s isolation and uncertainty with the feeling of hope. Meandering orchestrations create a dream-like state and wooziness that leads into one of the many ethereal interludes. “Lying in the Grass Thinking About Death” and “Critics (aka Fifty Bucks)”burst out like a sonic gut-punch fueled by crunchy guitars and wall-of-sound energy that provides
the bridge between the poetic and rugged. The latter serves as an emotional outpouring, an anthem for the road warrior, the session player, the busker, and the backup singer, all striving for artistry. Not everybody’s an artist, but everyone’s a goddamn critic.

I’m tired, broken, bruised, the cutting chorus exclaims. The rollicking “God, Love, Prescriptions and Politics” finds Sroka at his most combative, opening up about his philosophical beliefs on social politics and manipulation through sarcastic quips and cutting instrumentation. With a poet’s mind and a punk rock heart, Ten Kills the Pack examines the highs and lows of not only an artist’s journey but the journey of life itself -the quiet moments no one ever sees next to the frantic exclamations and outbursts.

Thank You For Trying soars in some of its quietest moments: fly-on-the-wall interludes peppered throughout that bring listeners closer to Sroka’s ears and eyes. Tired green rooms and shared smokes are rendered through passages that hang in the atmosphere, incandescent and familiar, like memories of your own. The songs are raw, but the messages are clear. Thank You For Trying is the story of regrets that could have been and the aspirations that still could be. It’s the dream every artist grapples with, told through the eyes of one in the midst of his own.

Featured image by Vanessa-Heins.