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No. 1, “Drescher Clock,” a peek into a hospital room where a routine visit turns into a nightmare. Chaotic guitars thunder optimistically before giving way to bleak, metronomic distortion. “Did it fix it?” cries lead singer Matt Michel. “Can you wake up?/You’re still sick/You’re still sick, and you will get sicker.”


Michel, an Arlington resident, writes in an e-mail from Europe (where the band toured this month) that the song “is roughly about the point when you wake up and realize that the problems you had when you fell asleep are still there.” His father worked for the State Department, and his family moved often, so Michel often found himself in strange hospitals for routine tests. But “Drescher Clock” was inspired in part by a visit to a German military hospital that didn’t go well. “I was sick when I went in and passed out from all the blood they were drawing, and they revived me with smelling salts,” he says. “I just thought it was a good metaphor for the feeling I’m describing.”


In the same way Michel bounced from place to place growing up, the band had a hard time settling on a title for the song. The title refers to a gift they received from a German fan with the last name Drescher, who noticed their van’s lack of a timepiece. “We just started calling that song ‘Drescher Clock’ because it was new and had no title,” Michel says. “Then I just got used to the name and liked it, so we kept it.”

Haram plays the Red & the Black on Thursday, Nov. 29.