Messiah Mask

Words & Music by James Kennedy

'Messiah Mask' is an Alternative Rock song & the 9th song on the 2012 Kyshera album 'Made In China'. The words, music & production are by James Kennedy.

'Messiah Mask', like much of the 'Made In China', is a difficult listen. Over 7 minutes long, it consists of several very different 'movements' and during the course of the whole song includes ambient electronic music, Rock band, midtempo space rock, frantic whammy pedal Guitar solo and an entire section of Musique Concrete constructed from industrial & retail sounds.

Lyrically, the song is a very graphic & uncomfortable description of the reality of sweatshops. Recordings can be heard throughout the song of real sweatshop workers describing their working conditions & whilst the choruses & intro are more broadly about the reality of Imperialism for those on the receiving end of it, the whole middle section of the song features a 'question & answer' style conversation between Kennedy's singing voice and his whisper 'Rapping' vocal style, during which some very graphic & explicit details of sweatshop life are thrust on to the listener. Kennedy has said that this 'no sugar coating' delivery was inspired by his reading of John Pilger.

Despite the darkness of its lyrics, the piece is a unique & brave Alternative Rock song featuring a wide range of electronics & atmospherics.


It’s hell on earth behind the Cellophane glare

Our supermarket democracy is painted on torture and slavery.

A million severed hands clutching Ballot cards

Where the starving live amongst ashes and sewerage

And there’s a factory there, upon the shackled corpses

And a million more guns whenever the white man comes.

This is what they call liberty,

This is what they call prosperity,

This is what they call security,

This is what they call democracy,

Imperialism in a Messiah mask.

You better pray ‘cos God has spoken

With Cluster bombs and Napalm B

And his death squads are everywhere

Hacking and burning and shooting and raping and beating.

With no infrastructure left,

He’s got a deal you must accept

Sitting in s**t for 36 hours

With no air, no water, no food, no pay, no rest.

Making useless shit

‘cos the debt slaves keep on buying it

While they’re helpless as they watch their children die

An agonising death of preventable illness that they cant afford to cure.

Welcome to civilisation

Where a dollars more valued than a life.

Where the oil pisses through the shanty towns

Washing away the carcasses of massacred families whose homes were in the way.

All those pretty packaged things

Don’t they look so innocent

They bring horror and desolation

To any nation that cannot defend itself

And everybody here is free

Of any responsibility

The companies that blame the politicians,

That blame the market that blames consumers that blame the…

Whilst the stakes are rising

And the gap is widening

This economic apartheid will ravage anything in sight

How can we sleep at night

Structural adjustment

Is only needed for the rich

Those soulless, bloody handed motherfu**ing scum

Who will stop at nothing to acquire more money and power.

This is what they call an economy,

This is what they call integrity,

This is what we call humanity,

While this is what they say is the only way

Imperialism in a Messiah mask.