Cold Duck Complex

Cold Duck Complex

BandHip HopJazz

Cold Duck Complex tastes like gasoline in your belly. There is a confusion between heat (pleasure) and pain (like, “what the f*ck am I listening to?”). And in the end, you decide, maybe I shouldn’t do this to myself. But you do anyways, because it smells like love. And you can never choke on love.


Too rock for hip-hop, too hip-hop for rock, Cold Duck Complex is not the music for tunnel-vision scenesters. Cold Duck Complex makes music for the in-betweensters, the what-does-it-all-meansters, the sacred-profane-keep-it-clean-obscenesters. In short, music for those who just don't know, and have the courage to say so. That said, it should come as no surprise that the group's new EP, Enough, is a complicated work, filled with all the intricacies and contradictions that come from trying to distill human life into four-minute sound bites. From the apocalyptic hopefulness of the postmodern man's anthem, "Sinking Ship" to the politically-charged frustration of "Killing Season", the lyrical content of the songs follows the music in defying genre and oversimplified definition. As bassist Joe Cardozo explains, the EP's title underlines the paradox that is the band's music: "The word 'enough' is open. It can be harsh or hopeless, as in 'I've had enough', it can be hopeful, accepting—'we have enough'. But it always contains a certain longing, an unanswered question".

With Enough, engineered by Mitch Chakour (Joe Cocker Band) and mixed by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Apollo Sunshine), the band attempts to capture the immediacy of their live show, which has gained them a dedicated following of music-loving misfits throughout the northeast and beyond. Virtually all of the tracks were recorded live, with emcee Platypus Complex recording vocals in one take while band mates Cardozo, keyboardist Jeff D'Antona and drummer Makaya McCraven played in the same room. "In the past, we've done our recording in a more traditional fashion, with overdubs, punch-ins and all that", explains Platypus. "But at some point, we realized that our live energy at shows, just the four of us doing what we do in the moment, was what really converted people to our band. The attempt to capture that feeling guided the whole process of creating this record".

That is not to say that Enough sounds like your average bedroom jam session put to tape. Rather, it is the carefully constructed manifestation of a conscious less-is-more aesthetic that allows the musicians and the words to speak for themselves. The way that the members of Cold Duck Complex see it, this straightforward presentation, combined with a genuine passion for the music they create, is more than enough.


Wake Up

Written By: Casey Hayman

so they swept up the mess left the 11th of september
time heals all, still the wound stays tender
brick and stone break bones, but souls won't surrender
good morning america, i will remember

i remember the confusion, the chaos, the casualties
remember feeling helpless as i stared upon the tragedy
had to be mad at the perpetrators of the violence
felt i had to say something, but instead i stayed silent
all eyes on the television, fixed in fear
rallying round the flag like that'd make the madness disappear
now there's nothing wrong with unity, but from beneath the surface
of the hyperpatriotism came a war without a purpose
remember the cold war? we gave the taliban arms
now we drop rations with bombs to keep the pacifists calm
could've sworn we were invincible, land of the egotistical
cry absolute evil, but it ain't that mystical
we wonder why people got beef
when our country's wealth depends on exploiting the middle east
we want peace, but only when peace'll turn a profit
gotta keep that oil flowing, and ain't nothing gonna stop it
now i ain't trying to rain on no one's patriot parade
but the love we take is equal to the hate that we've made
it's the land of the brave, built upon slaves
we filled in the graves to filter the rage
but the guilt'll remain, with the anger and pain
until we realize it's not a simple matter of blame
because for somebody to gain, somebody else has gotta lose
and for anything to change, then everybody's gotta choose
to take responsibility for history
and recognize that privilege stems directly from complicity
with a racist, classist, sexist system
where money makes the man and millions make a politician
transmitting lies through your television screen
prisons teem with modern-day slaves, is this the bush or byzantine
era? and that's a whole new form of terror
but the evil's always darker on the other side of the mirror
there are those who believe that our direction's divine
and that oppressions of the mind'll be corrected in time
i'm not so sure that's exactly where we're headed, though
and i won't believe it just because some figurehead has said it's so
heroes arose from the ash, that's true
but if the NYPD blue thinks i've forgotten Amadou
they're crazy, it'll take a lot more than that to blind me
and i'll probably take a bullet before i bow to Giuliani
i truly mourn for every life lost up in the rubble
but to me B-U-S-H will still spell trouble
'cause Bush and Bin Laden are both made of flesh
just flawed human beings, being human, god bless
the souls of the dead, and forgive us our sins
in a war against terror, where nobody wins
see i love freedom dearly, ideally, in theory
but in reality, we're not there yet, not nearly
rest in peace to those lost the 11th of september
good morning, america, i will remember.

Booze & Tapwater

Written By: Cold Duck Complex

I was never any good at leaving well enough alone,
Burning bridges, slamming doors, hanging up the phone,
Grown-ass man with no real plans,
Closed fist in the sky with my head in the sand,
And you’re god damn right I resent the handshakes and the smiles,
But I guess that I can fake it for a while
Like ‘Hi, how you doing? Yeah, it’s been a long time,
Same old same old, man, I’m doing fine,
But it only feels right when I fuck or fight,
So you can either use that knife or you can let me spend the night, right?
Nah, I’d settle for a laugh and a drink,
We can save the world and leave the broken glass in the sink,
A toast to the hopeful, here’s to the cheerful,
As for the politicians, man, I’ve had an earful,
Anything you can do, I can make jaded,
Endlessly analyze and overcomplicate it,
I’m sitting in the middle of my grey area rug,
Humbling hard rocks and embarrassing thugs,
All worried about happiness, I gotta relax,
I’m just trying to be myself, but motherfucker, who’s that?

Dear ma, I burnt all my dreams to the filter,
I’m a self-made martyr with a taste for pain,
Ain’t nothing new but booze and tap water,
And the way she moves has got me singing again.

It’s the return of the repressed, living detached from death,
Just obsessed with trying to learn to love my enemies best,
Let this cold breath off of my chest, I’m just flesh,
Nothing more nothing less than an educated guess,
Yes yes y’all (yes y’all), Platty Complex, y’all,
Trying to get my mind up out the mess hall,
But the way that dress falls on her shoulders won’t leave me alone,
We make love ‘til the speakers are blown,
My very own dream sequence, complete with all the camera tricks,
Another professional rapper making amateur chips,
Fantastic, sorry if I sound sarcastic,
I’ve got a full-blown addiction to ironic detachment,
These ass-kicking machines with a dick and a dream,
Are asking why I’m laughing, because if I didn’t I’d scream,
Seems simple, and that’s how she taught it to me,
But this life ain’t quite what I thought it would be,
I see people so full of fear and disease,
And they all take themselves so seriously,
So seriously, so seriously—ma, it all seems silly to me

My baby bends before she breaks,
My baby lends before she takes,
Makes love not money, likes her eggs runny,
And that’s alright with me

My downstairs neighbor’s got a glass ceiling,
My lover has scars that are past healing,
And I’m a sad sack dealing with half-mast feelings,
And that’s alright with me.



"Enough" EP (6/2006)
"Figureheads" LP (1/2004)
"Cold Duck Trio & Platypus Complex" EP (3/2002)

Set List

Our setlist varies widely from night to night. We have a repertoire of approximately 40 original songs (with an occasional cover). We like to play one solid set (1.5-2 hours), but because of our breadth of material can easily tailor to a variety of set lengths (the longest we've played is 3.5 hours) and situations--we can play mainly hip-hop, mainly jazz, or a combination thereof.