A Hard Shell to Break

by Ray Flanagan & The Authorities

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $7 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Packaged in a sleek Ecowallet, with artwork by Nicholas A. Roth

    Includes unlimited streaming of A Hard Shell to Break via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      $10 USD or more 




Recorded Live at River Junction in Willoughby Hills, OH
Additional recording at Jim Stewart Recording in Cleveland, OH
Piano recorded at Lava Room Recording Studios in Cleveland, OH


released June 9, 2015

Matthew Kerschner - Drums
Garrett Tresch - Bass
Ray Flanagan - Vocals, Guitars
Brian Poston - Guitars, Vocals
Russell Flanagan - Piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond C3 Organ

Engineered and Mixed by Jim Stewart
Mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio in Cleveland, OH



all rights reserved


Ray Flanagan & The Authorities

Rock & Roll from Cleveland, OH

contact / help

Contact Ray Flanagan & The Authorities

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Decider
I am a demon
I am the decider
And I have my reasons
For dwelling inside her
I'm just as empty
As you are a fighter
I wanted to steal her
But I couldn't hide her

I'm watching all the time

Bold and disasterous
Laid down on the line
Wondering where your home is
'cause you can't make up your mind
You can't make up your mind

I have been loaded
With fear of rejection
'cause I can't stand the feeling
That there's no connection
And I'm just as lonely
As you are a liar
I feel like a demon
I am the resider

If you've seen them, then you will know
Track Name: I'm Just Trying to Live
When I was a child I always knew what was I was gonna do
Some people told me "You've got to try other things"
I said "If I did that, how am I supposed to sing or play this thing?"

Don't wanna go to school or get a job
Man, that might work for you, but that just ain't my style
I just wanna sing it loud, for you
And sing something that's true
So stop asking me questions about what it is I'm gonna do

I'm just trying to live

One way to tell about how it's gonna go
You watch all your disappointments, and where it is that they show
Deep in your heart, way up in your mind
The past will be the past, you've got to leave it all behind

It's writing more and more, and harder tunes
You've got to buckle down, and tell the truth
So you can lift the pain like it has been exhumed
So you can raise the dead because you love them too
And you gotta sing it loud, for you
And sing something that's true
So stop asking me questions about what it is I'm gonna do

I'm just trying to live

I don't know about you, baby
I don't know about you
I'm just trying to live
Track Name: It's Just Rain
I remember hearing roaring thunder
Startled me when I was just a boy
Woke me from my slumber
When it shook the earth with rolling, rumbling noise
My father wasn't one to talk semantics
His fears, it seemed, were never worldly ones
Thunder's just a warning, comes with lightning
When those tears begin to run

It's just rain
It ain't gonna hurt you none
It's just rain
Little water do you some good

Well, I left my job at that old dreary warehouse
Needed to get outside and walk around
When you're cooped up inside
You get to missing all them different sights and sounds
As I walked the sky was prying open
Before I knew it, it had washed me clean
The girl behind the counter said "You poor thing, you're soaked"
I said "Honey, that ain't the worst thing that I been"

When all that's left of me is stone and ashes
Or they dig a hole to make my final home
When I run out all my options
And I find out what it means to be alone
I'll look up at you as you are crying
Looking over all the years you gave
The thunder cracks the clouds
And goes to wash all of those tears into my grave
Track Name: Waiting for the Door
I am not the reason your river runs dry
So you can go and irrigate someone else
I am not the season that left you behind
I'm just the color of the wind through your mind
I feel repressed, and that's a hard shell to break alone
But I'm not stressed, just waiting for someone to get me home
And I'm fine with that
It's how I've grown to be

I'm going off the deep end
Waiting for the door that leads me out
Waiting for the door

I created this cage to keep you out
But the longer I stay, the more I have found
It's like a prisoner gets used to concrete walls
I wanna break out, but I've got no one to call

There has got to be something more than this
If there's not, have I been living too slow?

When you want it all, but there's not a thing around
You've got to go on out and get it yourself
'Cause there just ain't nobody or anything at all
That's gonna pull you from the space that you've found
Some folks are born and they go straight to their knees
Spend a lifetime just trying to be free
I'm not fine with that
And nobody else should be
Track Name: Get Off My Back
So you've forced yourself down in a hole now
And you're feeling the pressure's too great
You're struggling hard just to hold up
And you're trembling under the weight

Tired of being talked to
Like you're only there for show
Tired of being dragged down
We all need some room to grow

I've been dancing to an old song
I wore it out some time ago
Got no use for it in the long run
I told regret to leave me alone
And get off my back

It's the very last day of the month now
And we're making the same as before
You can steal a little bit from the next one
But it all evens out out the door

We're tired of being talked to
Like we're only there for show
Tired of being dragged down
We all need the room to grow

We all just need to step away
Too much is too much when you start hurting your friends
No sense in counting every little mistake
We all just need to step away
Track Name: Can't Get Out
When you feel the light is only there to stop you
While the others run so far and fast beneath its glow
There's more than one beneath the sun
And there's still room for more
But somehow you just feel like you can't catch up to them

It hits so hard when you lose the ground beneath you
And it's cold

Cold and strange
There's no way
I can't get out
Feel so down, I'm not lost
I can't get out

No, I never lost my faith, though I displaced it
Into somewhere that fit a little bit better with my line of thought
Now there's more than one beneath the sun
And we may never agree
So I do not care if you call it by some kind of name
Track Name: Year After Year
Started snowing mid November
Kind of snuck up on me this year
There's been nothing in recent memory
That I've been waiting for around here

I give what I can
Can't afford to understand
What it is you say that you want
So I'm only asking once

Rise with the moon and silver diamonds
I pull them down and stuff them in my coat
Wear a crown of wishes dying
Lower it around my throat
There's a devil who watches me sleeping
I know he's there because I feel the heat
Sinks in my bones and through my body
Figured by now I'd earn my keep

I still give what I can
Can't afford to understand
What makes a person walk so tall
And just stop

I run just knowing that they're gonna get me
But I'm not motivated by fear
Ain't seen the sun since 2007
You voice still ringing in my ear

Still waiting for real life to kick in
Year after year