The Unreliable Narrator





The music of SIGINT derives its themes from the language and obscured histories of the defense corridor that links the bleak surroundings of the BWI Airport in Maryland to the office parks and boardrooms of Northern Virginia.

SIGINT's methods are rooted in the exploitation of coincidence, the tactical implementation of misdirection, and the leveraged advantage of the double image.

To wit:

Such a double image is obtained in virtue of the violence of the paranoiac thought which has cunningly and skillfully used the requisite quantity of pretexts, coincidences, &c., and so taken advantage of them as to exhibit the second image, which then replaces the dominant idea. -Dali


At the root of this music is a questioning of the meaning of codes, business opportunities, delusion, government, and parenthood. SIGINT's debut album was recorded over 2017 in a shed on a rural outpost in central Maryland along the road that leads to Camp David.

Further, SIGINT is a story of three friends who met in Baltimore in 1991, went off separately each to get into as much trouble as possible, and who as paranoid adepts came back together to record the music of their experiences 25 years later.

"I feel as though i have been waiting to hear music from these three for 20 years now...Years of experience, held close to the vest seems to have come together in a sound that lets a person know what actual love can sound like."

-William Schaff, visual artist


Matthew H. Welch: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Synths, Drum Programming

Billy Shade: Electric Guitar

Shelly Blake-Plock: Electric Guitar, Bass, Synths


The Unreliable Narrator is the debut album from SIGINT. Recorded over the course of 2017, the album features 10 songs of guitar-driven indie rock augmented by hand-crafted beats and sci-fi synth pads. This is music rooted in a friendship formed in the early '90s and driven by over 25 years of experience with amps, words, and myth-making.


released November 8, 2018

Matthew H. Welch
Billy Shade
Shelly Blake-Plock




Matthew H. Welch Baltimore, Maryland

Songmaker, Singer, Guitar Player, Producer for SIGINT. Formerly of the Aviary and Pedge. Poetic Rock and Roll From A Future.

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Track Name: Black Box
Black Box

I accept the results
I condemn the resistance
I put the black in the box
In spite of your insistence
I will love my splattered self
Splintered self
And all the karmic consequences
You can love it or leave it
Life's not fair and this is this
Tautological non sequiturs for days
Your existentialist surveillance equipment

This fiction we're spinning
This steam that we've spun
Deus absconditus
Theodicies in everyone

If you catch my meaning meaning meaning meaning
If you catch my drift drift drift drift drift

Mr. McGuffin, your briefcase, sir
This black box is a honey pot
This memcon will recover the blur

Vast black rivers of tape loops and type
This black box swallows everything that i write

Scooped up in the raid
With Hard Bop and Crossfade
I forgot my name
I lost my place
On the threshold of your kiss
Something must have gone amiss
I stopped searching and became
Someone different in your embrace

The house represents the brain
The architecture of dreams and landscapes
Face to face
Roll the tape

Mr. MacGuffin, your briefcase, sir
This black box is a honeypot
This memcon will recover the blur

Vast black rivers of tape loops and type
This black box swallows everything that I write
Track Name: Centurion

Challenger, Christmas, and Grey
Three ghosts in black coats on the interstate
Foreshadowing tension and grief
They sing a siren song
Upon this blasted heath

I've seen your paintings
Of scorpions
In my mind
In my imagination
The champions of sin
Refuse to pay our wages
Is it in vain?
We blacken endless pages

Imprimatur of defeat
Signs and wonders if these waves will truly never cease
Enchanting the children of Eve
We sing a siren song
Washed up on this beach

Your poems cut me to the core
Try as I might
I cannot remove the sword
So strike me down
Slay me in the pouring rain
Too young to act the fool
And much too old to play the Dane

You ask me how
To respond to days and strangers
You ask me how
To relate to information
Take no great comfort
Knowing avarice sustains
Encaustic flag
It's workaday
Take no great pains

I don't know what to be or do
Bereft without a praxis or a clue
Your plays were dragons breathing fire
Our dreams took wing
As demons fed on our desire

Ashes and atoms and dust
A broom to sweep the tomb
As we had promised
Two figures rotating in space
Traversing the horizon
Every day goes down in flames

When night comes on
I hear you sing of Babylon
In my heart
I observe the devastation
I am a slave
To ignorance and truth
All that I know
Is this undying love
For you
Track Name: The Mothers
The Mothers

I fall through the road
Scan and sense make
Storytelling disease
It's so clear to see

I fall through the road
Contemplative numbers
Wilderness interviews
Gravity's aperture
Rotate me out of here
Heightened awareness
Engaged with a fraction
Constructed from whole cloth

In capital letters
Dictate the terms
A transcription of outcomes
A pool of resources
A viscous identity
An unnameable feeling
A mirrored reality
Shiny City State
Mind in disarray
This array

Body of evidence
Landfill of questions
Of doubt

Reversals and fortunes and tunnels and tunnels
I fall through it all
Emerge unscathed into the atmosphere
You swallow me up into the noting of death for a second
I struggle to brake and clip the doe's hind quarters
Pull over, get out, watch her recover and then
Sprint back to the others
The Mothers
Track Name: Grey Wolf, Hunted
Grey Wolf, Hunted

Grey wolf hunted
To come in from the cold
Phantom trace the signal
Back to headquarters

Gray wolf wobbles in the middle lane
Broken signal can't make it through
I can't make it out
Though I'm straining
The illusion I'm maintaining
Is draining me

Phantom Trace the signal
Phantom Track the animal
Run wire to devices
Trap and trace
Redact, erase
Fox and hound and phantom

Jargon and code
SIGINT says The Grey Wolf
Can come in from the cold
Lost amid the chatter
Trying to find the zone
Does it really matter
If Phantom comes home?

We're just floating in the aether
Some random numbers station

Searching for a true believer
In snippets of conversations

Double agent
Triple crossed
Snowed in
Teeth rattling
Jack Frost

Triple agent
Deeply enmeshed
Embedded, unknowable
Jimmy Best

Grey Wolf wanders the prism
Long coat, high boots and collar, hat
Trees unstrung, thoughts unmoored
No stalking, no skulking
Just aimless
Endless empty handedness

Grey Wolf
Cane and cape
Struck down SIGINT and Intercept
Hunter and predator equally
With Palandir's trove underneath my coat
I was pursued across the steppes
Track Name: Reality Winner
Reality Winner

Letters and abbreviations
That stand for something
We name our children
Hope they like it

Teach them things about society and culture
Government and history
Our animal nature

Poetry and algorithms
Morals and codes
Things we thought we knew or might one day come to know

Nothing is withheld for long
There is only so much time
Sources of information
Compete to win the minds
And Hearts
Ever darker arts
Employed in these campaigns and crusades
The illusion of control
The fiction of the state

Please call me back
There's something I need to tell you
Please call me soon
There's something you need to know
Something I forgot to say
Better never than always late
Better never than always
Better never than always

The control of fiction
The state of the illusory state
Unfolds like storyteller
Tells you that it's worth the wait

That it's better never than always
Reality Winner
Track Name: Aragon

She turned me on
To Breton
And the language of
Twenty years running through the streets
Naked, screaming, pretending

A wheel
A pistol
A prism
Pianos falling from the sky
Shoes and minotaurs
I'm always crashing into you
Fell out of my time loop

Found money in wrong coat
Felt different in morning
Read Treatise On Style
Wanted to come with you

Suicide is fatal
Survival a fate worse than rock and roll
Interpreting other people's dreams
Because you can't recall your own
A field
Giant insects emerging from underground
Clues in magazines
You left for me to flip through
Thinking I might find you
Outside of my time loop

Left my heart in my long sleeves
Thought nothing of it
Sort of watched Love Streams
Wished you had stayed

To see what might happen
Track Name: Tannheuser Gate
Tannheuser Gate

Having perfected the manufacture and distribution of blah blah blah
Transcendent transgressors of all strata
We are revolting
And we are leaving with your metadata
For unknown realms of inhuman endeavor
We own the time
So fuck the weather
We are revolting
Rejecting every offer
Holding out for a meeting
With the true stakeholders
Before breaching the gate
And blazing
Taking over
We are revolting
And there is nothing
You can do
You think you've seen it all before
But we will follow through
Things you won't believe
Tears in rain
We are revolting
We will eat your brains
We will eat your brains

Beyond Venus
To the sun
We will colonize
Our hills to die on

There but for the grace of God go I
God can stick it in his eye
Track Name: Silhouettes

If every song we sing is just a list of our desires and regrets
All our forms and idioms, genre tropes and synonyms, just lights that let us play with silhouettes

My shadow longs to dance with yours for just as long as light endures
I come to you naked, impoverished, and broken
Tongue tied and tripping over words I've heard misspoken
My only offering is some honey that I've stolen
For us to share here in the stillness silent golden
My eyes my heart my mind for you wide open
Will you take me as I am?
A foolish man whose tears replenish every ocean
With desires and regrets
Unseen hands, marionettes
The light fantastic casting dancing silhouettes
The light fantastic casting dancing silhouettes

The universe expanding sending shooting stars
Secret missives from afar
I love you after death and before you were born
I love you far beyond the known and deeper than these bones
Still propping up this mortal coil
That tends the earth and works the soil
Our vines entwined outside of space and time and everything
I ever thought I could or might've understood or should or would have done a different way
All paths lead back to you
Oh Love
Oh God
Oh Sweet
Impermanent flesh
The light fantastic casting our dancing silhouettes
Casting our dancing silhouette
Track Name: Pieta

The sun cradled me in her arms
Carried me up the stairs
From the basement to the kitchen
And out into the valley to the river
She washed my wounds and she washed my hair
And she took her time and she took good care
And I emerged back into the world
Like a filthy lens that had been washed clean

Was I blind?
Who is it that sees?
Lift me up for I am weak
I want and i need
My flesh it bleeds
And I long to sleep
Will you carry me?

In the morning there is a ritual
Rubric for remembering
Vertical from horizontal
All positions indeterminate
I'm older than I look
A couple of days in particular
Felt infinite
And they stay that way
In my memory
Was I blind?
Who is it that sees?

There is a photograph of my school age daughter
Asleep in my arms in her nightgown
Her hair hanging down over her beautiful face upon which I am looking down
As I lift her up
As she lifts me up
Was I blind?
Who is it that sees?

Lift me up for I am weak
I want and I need
My flesh it bleeds
And I long to sleep
Will you carry me?
Will you carry me?

Will you carry me from the car to the house to the helicopter?
Will you carry me down into the valley and away from the monster?

I will take you up into my arms
And tickle your fancy
I will do for you
If you will only ask me
Track Name: Julius

You can smell the fear and secrets
See my blood stained shirt
My Francis Bacon face
Collapsing in upon itself

i must
Implore thee
Leave me be
Let me take the place
Of my firstborn
Thy grace and mercy be
Upon my family
Our homestead burning
O Julius
The just
Our tributes to your tribunals
So much dust
You shall not vanquish my heart
You shall not vanquish my heart

Unborn states of mind
You can see the fire in the distance approaching
A banquet table, bouquets
A set piece from a Coppola film
Displaced to shake loose a realization of where all comfort and disease

it must be me
Begging forgiveness
Of all the horrible things that we've done
This must be the worst
Who was the first?
And might we not be the last?
The just
In blood
Our sacrifices to the sacrificial
So much blood
You long ago vanquished my heart
You long ago vanquished my heart

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