“Frank faces his toughest opponent yet: True Love…”
One album, an old comic book, plenty of important insights on life’s long path. Material collected over a long period in the band’s history from several disparate sources. The record starts in the past and moves toward the future, and begins in the future on a sure and austere path to the past. It starts and ends on literally the EXACT SAME CHORD, so you can listen to it on a loop all year long without needing to worry about the bad thoughts finding their way in.
The disgraced venture capitalist known only as “the Archipelago Man”, or “Arch” for short. An economic idealist who believed that investment banking would save the world. He embarks on an unexplainable journey, leaving a string of failed business ventures behind him.
The aged pro boxer and alpha male, Frank “Sluggerhand” Bayson. He has long since left the fighting life behind him. He suffers from Alzheimers disease. In his final months, he happens upon Arch. Spending his time walking around buildings he is no longer able to recognise, he faces the last and perhaps most dangerous opponent: True love in the arms of a beautiful man.
Chapter one: The Archipelago Man
In the distant world of 2008, he steps off a train somewhere in Europe, this wonderful man who was once so full of promise. He thought he had the world at his fingertips, that his economic know-how would somehow be enough to stand up to the machine, to usher in a new and improved age for mankind. The banking world is crashing to the ground all around him, turning his glorious beard gray and his prospects to dust. Still he believes, and it may be this unfailing idealism which will bring about his devastation… Or his salvation. Listen and sing along to an ode to the brave, gentle venture capitalist… Your last and only friend in an ever-colder world.
Chapter two: I’m Not an Islander
According to the Masons of Truth, Arch made his first money in the very same old city by the old lake where atcn made their start. Leaving a place like this for the distant islands is never easy, the changing internal landscapes of economy and social disparance take a toll on the sensitive souls. It is said that Arch’s first business venture consisted of a novel type of car lock, in association with one of the prime firms in the old city, the (redacted). This was of course a staggering failure, hampered as always by weak-thinking individuals. Upon arrival to the islands, Arch immediatly gets to work at finding interesting people and ideas to invest in. However, he soon feels that this place will never be his home. Is it time to travel again, to new lands where untold fortunes await?
Chapter three: Alpha Male
In the thirties and early forties, there existed a now forgotten comic book series entitled “The Painstaking Adventures of Sluggerhand”, written by Duke Sobranie – the eccentric who claimed to be a reincarnation of the Sobranie clan’s ancient progenitor – and with artwork by the mysterious individual known only as “Plong”. In this slightly amateurish, black-and-white publication, a black-and-white worldview set the stage for hard-boiled action as real-life boxing champion Frank “Sluggerhand” Bayson punches his way through various tournaments, and consequently, life. This ficionalised version of a real but now sadly forgotten athlete was discovered by the musicing band atcn, and used as one of the bases for their classic 2015 album Sluggerhand. When Arch first met Frank, Frank had already deteriorated to a state where he was confined to his bed for most of the day. He ruminates on the plight of the alpha male, the sad fact that no matter the man, no matter how hard, self-assured and successful, biology reduces us all to sad husks in the end. What conclusions can be drawn from this?