The first time I heard “Cut Your Ribbon” was when I had MTV2 on in the background while I was writing some dumb AP US History essay.
That voice. That scream.
That was Jim Ward from At the Drive-In. I knew it. But they were broken up, so it couldn’t be.
I looked up and stared, transfixed, as I had done a little less than two years prior when I first saw the video for “One Armed Scissor” by At the Drive-In.
Sure as hell, there he was, along with Tony Hajjar and Paul Hinojos, but Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez were nowhere in sight. I waited until the end of the video and saw that this was a song called “Cut Your Ribbon” by a new band called Sparta. I diligently hit up the internet and found out that two new bands had arisen from the ashes of ATDI— Sparta and The Mars Volta. People get caught up arguing over which one of the two is better, but I love all three bands for different reasons.
Sparta will forever hold a spot in my heart for helping me work through some serious issues in one of the darkest times in my life. “Cut Your Ribbon” is about a murderer’s guilty conscience (I think, anyway), but for me it took on a different meaning. I heard it on the heels of suicide attempt no.2, and in my mind it became a tale of being haunted by depression. Lyrics like “Face it, can you hear it?/Violation, you’ll remember/It’s all harmless/Incidental, disengaging/These thoughts break you” took on a different meaning when looking at how my own mind was driving me toward alternatives to living, like not living.
The anger and the rage in “Cut Your Ribbon” gave me a kick in the ass and kept me going for a while, and for that I will always be grateful.
(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)