Regret™ Instruction Manual Issue One: Questions And Answers For The Insecure Youth

by Stunt Rock

  • Streaming + Download

    20-track album as 320k mp3, FLAC, or other. 24 Page digital book included.

      $1 USD  or more


  • Original CD/Book/Sticker Package
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Very rare. 250 of the 300 copies produced were probably thrown away because this release is a piece of shit and the people who bought them grew up and threw away childish possessions like shitty electronic cds with poorly photocopied books with tons of typos.

    CD, Stickers (2), 24 page book

    Also includes immediate download of 20-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or other.

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REGRET™ Instruction Manual was to be a “zine” through which author William Flegal would publish various drawings and humorous anecdotes, and was intended to include everything from Betamax movie reviews to personality tests. The Betamax reviews did eventually mutate into The Betamax Rundown, but that took an entire decade to get off the ground. The zine concept laid dormant as Flegal prioritized the late 90s into getting “wasted” and being an asshole to those willing to stick it out.

After receding his life into his mother’s basement in 2000, Flegal began attending the sorta-education that is community college, all the while feeling sorry for himself and pretending as if no one understood him. Depression and suffering don’t make a person unique or original, quite the opposite is now true. By working the “artist in crisis” angle, Flegal opened up yet another predictable career path leading through still more painfully self-aware transitions. One can tell from the content of the package nothing of note had happened in his life. Aside from the typical “I don’t want to grow up” emotions everyone experiences, there are excessively trite barbs directed toward past love interests, and … that is pretty much it. Years later it was apparent that since Flegal was so self-absorbed at the time and fixated on his failed relationships with women (READ: teenage girls), the artist hardly noticed the other extremely misguided choices he was making in regard to his career, schooling, drinking habits, and dental care. So in the face of all that suburban struggle, Flegal gummed together ham-fisted dialogue samples, tired music loops, and predictable drum samples and shit out the music for the first issue of REGRET™ Instruction Manual.

To even the novice listener it is apparent Flegal took half-finished songs produced under his lively (and more successful) Stunt Rock moniker and simply slowed them down in a ill-attempt at expressing his emotions and, of course, attempting to make emotive computer music is in itself an impossible task. To further provide distraction, “digital effects” were slapped on that laughably point to the time-stamped era of out of the box effects from 2000-2001. Couple this with varying source quality, and any ability to focus on a theme is lost. Also of note: more than half the songs incorporate the same drum samples. On a better release, that fault would instead showcase what an ingenious individual can do with few resources, but here it spotlights what someone who is too concerned with bitterness and retaliation does when their last priority is making an enjoyable listening experience. The final musical product resembles what would happen if a toddler decided to forego toilet training and instead dropped diaper and tried to piss straight into the toilet.

After dropping out of art school for the second time, and prior to enrolling at community college, Flegal procured a computer and spent time starting various companies, yet never producing a product, all in an effort to make some type of tangible art. Well-intentioned but chronically misguided, Flegal designed no less than six different covers and logos for REGRET™, yet never took the steps to work on any type of content for the imaginary book. Eventually and hurriedly, several incomplete art projects and an old clip art book were scavenged for content. The resulting book looks exactly like what a 21-year-old failure of an art student would cobble together. REGRET™ Instruction Manual Issue One is embarrassing, inconsistent, lacking actual content, and most apparent of all, not proofread. In short, the book endeavor is the equal of the musical accompaniment. The addition of two stickers helps little as these were produced on uncoated paper stock run through a laser printer, which results in almost immediate ink flaking. Let us also not forget an extremely embarrassed Flegal attempted to release the album under a different name, later conceding it wasn’t such a good idea, especially upon realizing there was already a band with that name. In the larger picture of his music career, he does acknowledge it helped him grow a bit and learn a little more about what not to do. And it sold fairly well, completing it’s tenure around 300 copies. However, most copies were traded to individuals for drinks at the bar before promptly being forgotten or lost.

Sure, your early 20s sucked. You didn’t get along with your dad and had problems landing a girlfriend. Day jobs sucked and your first car payment ($251 a month, big whoop) was a blow to your youth. You were not bound for artistic greatness, and no one understood where you were coming from. These are emotions most young men experienced. Does that mean you should have made a shoddily-crafted CD/Book package in order to elicit some type of profit from these feelings? No it doesn’t, but William Flegal did.

Anecdotally, Flegal says sometimes a 19-year-old kid from the midwest will email him upon discovering the album and sing its praises. They will then ask where they can “get more stuff like it.” Reluctantly he tries to sell them whatever new project he is hocking, telling them, “It doesn’t really sound like that stuff at all, but it’s still a way to support me.” The youth is usually polite enough to buy the new project, but as Flegal laments, both parties are usually disappointed in the transaction. Flegal is disappointed with the realization that only teenagers are interested in his work, whereas the buyer is disappointed in Flegal’s lack of enthusiasm for his early work as it becomes realized the “artistic statements” were nothing more than adolescent hiccups and with this, the buyer has to face that they, too, are descending into the twilight of their own creative output.

And in the end that’s all REGRET™ Instruction Manual Issue One comes across as: Immature, momentary, easily dismissed. The project may have been better served in remaining in his mother’s basement.


released May 30, 2001



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