by Tong Po

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Tong Po is:

(additional guitar on this recording by S. Nichols)

This album, though never intended as a concept album, has a running theme of the state of permanent warfare perpetrated by the United States, and the proxy wars endorsed and funded by the United States. As the veteran war correspondent Chris Hedges put it, “Militarists and war profiteers are our greatest enemy. They use fear, bolstered by racism, as a tool in their efforts to abolish civil liberties, crush dissent and ultimately extinguish democracy. To produce weapons and finance military expansion, they ruin the domestic economy by diverting resources, scientific and technical expertise and a disproportionate share of government funds.” We live in a decaying society, under a system (capitalism) that has long since discredited itself, and is allowing the rich and decadent to plunder our resources at the expense of our civil rights, our safety, our homes… our planet. We’re told to place our faith in demagogues, discredited ideologies, pseudo-science, religious fundamentalism and TV actors playing the role of journalists who merely act as stenographers for the state, ultimately deluding ourselves to the real problems that face us. We’re made to be petrified of THE TERRORISTS that pose less of a threat to American lives than bee stings, lightning, and children that get ahold of their parent’s guns, and ignore the real threats of climate change, staggering wages, house foreclosures, and any other numbers of corporate crimes. Corporate crime from corporate criminals that will never see a day in prison for their infractions, while in America we hold 5% of the world’s population yet hold 25% of the world’s prison population, disportionately black, and disproportionately non-violent drug offenses.

Touched on are also themes of abuse, self-abuse, coming to terms with personal demons, and ultimately coming to terms with things in our lives that negatively impact our thoughts, actions and destinies. In a society that is factioned, pitted against one another, told to distrust one another, to spy on one another, to see each other in such binary ways that we couldn’t possibly find any common ground despite our differences, it’s not hard to see why abuse is so rampant, why suicide is so rampant, why antidepressants are dispensed like candy. In a decaying, soulless society that enriches the smallest fraction of 1% while disempowering and financially decimating the rest, it’s not hard to understand why these things have run amok so. Turn your TV off more often, go to your library more often, don’t rely on a single politician to be your savior. Like Severed Head Of State said, you want to believe in something? Believe in yourself. Be a part of something. Take to the streets. Stand up to your corporate masters. Climate change is already at a point of no return. There is no time left, and we cannot rely on anyone but ourselves to improve, to SAVE our world. These are some books we recommend on the aforementioned subjects.

And Liberty And Justice For Some //by Glenn Greenwald
No Place To Hide //by Glenn Greenwald
Failed States //by Noam Chomsky
Pay Any Price //by James Risen
Empire Of Illusion //by Chris Hedges
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress //by Howard Zinn
Anarchism //by Emma Goldman
Chasing The Scream //by Johann Hari


released June 23, 2016

Recorded in Dec 2015 by Luke Tweedy @ Flat Black Studios, Iowa City, IA

Mastered by Brad Boatright @ AUDIOSIEGE



all rights reserved


Tong Po Bettendorf, Iowa

Crustio Politico from the heartland. We write as an act of resistance to break free of the prisons imposed upon us, & that we impose upon ourselves.


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Track Name: Fallout
What was here today
They blew it all away
Yet they're here to stay
To call it democracy

Neglecting their own poor
To start another war
Lining their own pockets

Send their troops abroad
Making their own laws
Bowing always down
To Wall Street

Criminals at the helm
From their subdivided realm
Raining down their hell
For what?

What was here today
They blew it all away
Yet they're here to stay
To call it democracy

Neglecting their own poor
For never ending war
Track Name: Fear of Falling
You spend your whole life
with misplaced morality
Can't see the forest for the trees
One sided biased,
system of belief
You love to impose on me

Your fear of falling keeps you in line

You're good at keeping
People at arms length
The sword of judgement cuts both ways
Afraid of loving
The consequences aren't what you think

If your god is so loving
Then why are you so afraid
Every moment you're awake
Give up your freedom
Say you live a good life
Chains on your feet each step you take

You can't rise
When you're chained to where you stand
Your archaic sense Of right and wrong
Keeps you under gods thumb
/blind devotion
To faceless deities
You're just following orders
Well I've heard that shit before

Your fear of falling keeps you in line
Track Name: Power Games
The bordered disorder we build up to tear down
The humanity of all those born on the wrong land
Our faith and our flag our symbolic hardons
Charades and masquerades to perpetuate their

Global citizens can't see there is no 'I' in 'team'
Just who’s fucking side are you on anyway?
Socialist bleeding hearts join the fucking army
Their skin is brown, their broken town, raze it to the fucking ground
You'll feel no pain, they have no name, just play our game, they'll be to blame so

Track Name: From Rags to Rags
Basic human rights, a fucking laugh riot to the right
Torch their cigars with a working class bill
From rags to rags, the third world printed on the tags
A collection of debt’s what he leaves in his will

Slaving every day, 14 more hours filed away
Defiled to the core for the sake of the dream
We admire what he does but despise what he is
A time-clock paper punched in a machine

He’s sick
He’s tired
He’s beaten
He’s filed away

He’d better
Not stray
For that
He’ll surely pay

Wake up from this living nightmare
Track Name: Forked Tongues
Teach your judgment
Seething hatred
To your children

They will learn it
They won’t make it
Color blind at birth

It still exists
For those who doubt it
White pride holds its turf

Your true colors
Hate your brothers

Hate in training
Forked tongues swallow youth
Track Name: A Walk in West Memphis
A walk in West Memphis the heat suffocates
The oppressive congestion of the injustice in the air some can no longer breathe
A bible belt bludgeoning town in the south
Beware what you wear or what comes out your mouth
You might become the next straw man they bleed

The three dead now wait
The three walking wait
The victorious pigs just roll their eyes
A murdering fucker lives out his life

A walk in West Memphis the hate suffocates
The intolerance beaten into the kids that dared to live free in their heads
A walk in West Memphis corruption prevailed
A poverty nightmare where America failed
Each night the sun sets red on Robin Hood’s dead
Track Name: Warring Factions
Bombs dropping everywhere, landmines guns and drones.
Assassinations targeted on coordinates from a phone.
Endless war, endless slaughter,
warring factions on a battlefield with no borders.
Night raids from black ops, black sites detain
innocents of dirty wars, no press attention paid.
Terrorists the enemy, just like the Reds before.
We ever wash our bloody hands from fucking endless war.
Endless war, endless slaughter,
warring factions on a battlefield with no borders.
Endless war, endless bloodshed.
Warring factions on a battlefield with no boundaries.
Track Name: Fallacy
Sometimes the abuse we deal ourselves is so much fucking worse
Than from the powers that be, those from which we learn

We hold ourselves to standards we’d never place on others
Give power to fallacies when logic has been smothered

Standing on a chair, shaking, pouring sweat
Your self-empathy wrapped around your neck

Cut the rope, sever the cord

The war within, just let it end
The truth will come, just let it in
Track Name: Standing at the Trough
The propaganda machine
The recycled news
Corporatized, distorted
Await what the Fox spews

Standing at the trough
Choking on sound bites

The throngs of aliterate
It’s poor against poor
Trained to be amoral
From the ground to the floor

Standing at the trough
Choking on the lies
Pointing at your brothers
Indifferent as they die
Track Name: Murder of Crows
Tell us they have all the answers
Four years later and the country's still not any different
Bloated prisons, starving children
And the homeless still sleep on the ground

While the profit margins soar
While the rich prepare the wars
Together we swarm
A murder of crows

Benign but not immune to cancer
Casting ballots to the paid off, bought off, sold off, run off
Don't expect to find the answers
From the top down, the lies of reform

While injustice plagues the poor
While the tyrants fight for more
Together we swarm
A murder of crows
Track Name: Hard Times Fall
When you fall on hard times
The hard times fall on you
You may not give a fuck
About me so I give two

Pull yourself up by the bootstraps
You say that's what I oughta do
It's kinda hard to pull anything
When you got holes in your shoes
half break
Nobody offers you a handout
But would you take it if they did
There's a fine line, between your pride
And living in the red

So you go to the factory
And sign on the dotted line
Just give up your hopes and dreams
And you'll fit in just fine

You look down your nose at me
From your ivory tower
It must be nice to feel secure
Wielding all that power

I'd like to see you push a broom
I'd pay to see your hands bleed
Never worked a day in your life
Never experiencing basic human needs
Track Name: The Last Straw
Why do we care
When they don't care
And regard us with no empathy?

Why should we hide
What lies inside
For fear that they will see?

Stand by your friends
Until the end
Not what the status quo reads

Chorus: Rise up! Stand up! Live for your dreams! (Rise up! Stand up! Rise up!)
The last straw breaks and you are free! (Rise up! Stand up! Rise up!)

The judgmental eyes
Telling us lies
Standing for nothing at all

They break us down
Nail our feet to the ground
Just want to watch us fall
Don't let them say "I told you so"

Let the nay-sayers nay
And fuck what they say
Stand up and be free

Chorus: Rise up! Stand up! Live for your dreams! (Rise up! Stand up! Rise up!)
The last straw breaks and you are free! (Rise up! Stand up! Rise up!)

ripping Solo