On February 17, 2018, I received an email from scruffy entitled: “L&H 3?”

My reply: “Yes. Resounding Yes. Hell Yes.”

Fast forward to today: The First Day of Summer. Staying in step with the previous Lifevests & Helmets playlists, scruffy and I are proud to present to you the third installment, completing the trilogy.

Before we get to the list, here are two very special messages from scruffy and myself.

From scruffy:

When raptorjesus and I started the Lifevests & Helmets playlist, it was easy. It was something I trusted myself to be good at, just like I trusted the safety gear it was named after. I knew my helmet and lifejacket like I know my own hand. Just like every scar has a story, every mark and nick on those pieces of equipment have their own.

It felt weird at first, when nothing felt right. I wasn’t using that gear and I wasn’t able to use my interest in music. I tried, with both, but it all felt rote and boring. My relationships were falling apart, my work was suffering, and I couldn’t even do the things I loved.

I gave up. I wasn’t responding to rj about the second L&H. I wasn’t doing my work. I wasn’t doing the things that I knew were good for me. I wallowed. I was sinking. My helmet, lifevest, and music were cast to the side, useless.

I was suffering from severe clinical depression. Took me a long time to come to terms with that.

The story of how I stood back up is long and inconsequential, beyond this: people helped me up. Close friends helped me find professional help. My counselor helped me find myself and save my marriage. rj finished the playlist on his own and posted it with some incredibly kind words.

It was a fucking journey. A miserable one. For every bit of “feel good” emotional catharsis to this story there are negatives. I’ve burned bridges and ghosted loved ones. It took me months just to get the courage to call a psychologist, and then once I started meds one of them made me suicidal.

Despite it all, I’m alive. I’m here. I have a new kickass two-tone blue lifejacket, a new whitewater helmet, a new positive outlook, and I’m rocking along to the new edition of Lifevests & Helmets that I actually contributed to actively.

My initial collection of starter tracks was large. rj suggested that we use Migos’ Culture II as inspiration and make it huge. By the time he had thrown in a ton of tracks (some of which came from Blocland’s namesake) and I added some more, we made that album look like it came out of Wyoming. This thing is a monster, but also a labor of love.

Take care of yourself. Love those around you that may be struggling. Pour or open the drink of your choice, put this playlist on, and feel fucking alive.

From raptor jesus:

It made me so happy to see scruffy’s email in mid-February this year. Not only was he ready to go to complete the L&H trilogy, but he already had some primo songs picked out. Even though we eventually quintupled the initial list, that first batch of songs hit me hard. I knew scruffy had been hurting, and the songs reflected it and opened up a much more personal approach to this playlist. What scruff may not have known is that I was in a pretty low point in my life. Short Story: Unemployed and living with a friend due to unexpected circumstances. The lyrics in those initial songs all became stuck in my head and gave me some much needed strength. Needless to say, I was ready to make this the strongest batch of songs in L&H history.
 
Yes, Kanye may be grappling with his mental health on a 7-track, 23-minute album. But scruff & I had to go the other route. Scruff may have been mostly absent on L&H2, but his presence on L&H3 was as strong, if not stronger, than the first L&H. Scruff has an undeniable talent at finding garage diamonds in the attic. More bands I’d never heard of playing songs that were tapping into my initial love of music. The whole process was revitalizing. I got a job and found a place to live during the making of this playlist. Now, I get to use it to celebrate the summer, safely.
 
We’re calling this incarnation of L&H3: “Don’t Fucking Drown” to drive home the beautiful metaphor that’s always been there. These aren’t just a collection of rockers to get drunk with friends to (though it DEFINITELY functions as that). This is about living. So please: Strap on your helmet, secure your lifevest, press play, mix up scruff’s choice cocktail, smile, love and of course…
DON’T.
FUCKING.
DROWN.
  • Blochead4real

    I’ve been rocking this all week. And it’s fucking superb. As would be expected from the masters. Scruffy got me back into garage shit and I will always be thankful. Getting back into garage and metal over the past couple years has really made me feel young and vibrant. And that’s a good fucking thing. I’m so glad the Scruff is feeling better. Don’t let anybody tell you differently…..live ain’t short. Life is long. It’s long as fuck. And it’s a tough ass road to hoe. But what a wonderful time to be alive it is. Don’t let the Trump bullshit trick ya. We are moving forward as Americans and human beings. This few years is but a blip on the radar. Shit is going to be awesome.

    Ok, in honor of Scruffy I want to share my drink recipe. It’s nothing more than a glorified Old Fashioned but it’s the little things that make a drink perfect.
    “The Jesus Scruff”
    2 parts good bourbon. I go with Woodford reserve as it’s decent and doesn’t break the bank
    1 part soda
    1 part Reed’s Ginger Ale
    3 dashes Angostura Bitters
    3 dashes Blood orange Bitters
    2 maraschino cherries (you fucking heard me. Goddamit)
    1 orange wheel
    1/4 tsp brown sugar
    Muddle the brown sugar, cherries and oranges thoroughly with both bitters. Pour whiskey over. Add soda. Fill tumbler to top with Reeds.
    Yes, it’s got too many ingredients. And the key is to be really reserved on the sugar. There’s a ton of sweet shit in here and if you get get too much sugar you’ll end up too damn sugary. Just enough that you can really break the orange and cherries down.

    Anyway, love you guys. Let’s sliiiiiiiide our asses into summer. Bloc

  • lobster man

    Great work, gentlemen and thanks for sharing. Sometimes we just need drown out the bullshit with some fat riffs and an ice cold corona and lime. Can’t wait to grab my snorkel and flippers and dive into this thing.

  • Cooolin

    Will dig my teeth into this big ol steak of a playlist after the Achtung Baby listening party. So happy you’re around these parts, ol’ scruffy.

  • Saul Wright

    Can’t wait to dig into this one. Looks great, boys! DON’T FUCKIN DROWN!

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