Train's 'Bruises' Proves That Breaking Up Is Hard and That the Lead Singer of Train Is a Demon

Sorry, Pat Monahan. We used science.

Aug 15 2013, 5:14pm

Song: “Bruises” by Train feat. Ashley Monroe, ranked 25th on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

What this teaches us about being a contemporary adult: Break-ups are tough. Also, there is an ancient evil lurking all around us.

At face value (or ear value—haha, old music writer joke), Train’s “Bruises” seems like a duet made for the sake of making a duet. Take the sweet, country twang of Ashley Monroe, write up some back-and-forth dialogue, pair it with the Pat Monahan-ian bravado and range of Train’s Pat Monahan, and viola: you have yourself a nice, simple little tune.

And when I say simple, I mean simple:

Have you seen him?
Not in years
How 'bout her?
No, but I hear she's in Queens with the man of her dreams
Funny, back then she said that about you
Que sera, you'll never guess who I saw Remember Johnny B.?
Remember him? We're best friends practically!
Let's do this soon again

That’s not even a song, that’s a conversation at a dry high school reunion in Salt Lake City. Pair those jejune lyrics with a plucky and repetitive ukulele and you have yourself a standard adult contemporary stroll through the khakis aisle at K-Mart. Harmless isn’t bad, but with a title like “Bruises,” I was expecting something more sinister, more violent. Instead, the song’s message amounts to nothing more than “Breaking up is hard, but we all go through it.”

Or so I thought.

While watching the video for “Bruises,” I couldn’t help but sense a ripple of darkness quiver beneath the TrainVEVO page. Even after closing the browser and performing my nightly cache clear—a clean computer is a happy computer—there was a sense of dread that seeped from the pixels, as if the liquid crystal display itself had been infected by some malignant evil. Shadows of death played just out of sight, the darkness dancing as if to mock me until I re-engaged with “Bruises” by Train feat. Ashley Monroe.

And so I did re-engage, and what I saw shook my bones and raked terror up through the sinew. I can’t believe I had missed it, but it was now as clear as day: Train’s Pat Monahan is a cambion.

A cambion, as most people know, is the demon offspring of an incubus and a human woman. There are some schools of thought that proclaim a cambion is the result of intra-demon sex between an incubus and a succubus, but this is bogus and obvious baloney that doesn’t deserve to be addressed here for an educated audience.

I’ve curated some stills from “Bruises” that clearly prove my point that Pat Monahan, the lead singer of Train, belongs in this classification of demon identified by the 15th Century Spanish Bishop Alphonso de Spina and further researched and elucidated by German clergyman Heinrich Kramer in his 1486 treatise Malleus Maleficarum.

Come with me, should you have the temerity.

Here we see “Pat Monahan” standing in the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. What a coincidence that he should be surrounded by the closest topographical feature there is to the crimson rocks of hell. Again, I say with true embarrassment and dismay that it took me so long to see this.

Here he is reading a letter on his tour bus (the TrainBus, I assume it’s called). What’s missing? That’s right: The other members of Train. As you can see by the next image:

There is a separate tour bus parked behind the bus of “Mr. Monahan.” Are we to believe that he is such a prima donna that he has to have his own bus? Or is the more realistic explanation that he doesn’t want his bandmates to see him shatter the bathroom mirror with shrieks of terror every time he gazes upon his unwanted human form?

Yeah, thought so.

Here we see Ms. Ashley Monroe as she walks towards her home while opening a letter from “Pat Monahan.” But hold on a second, he was on the TrainBus, there is no way he can mail something.

How did he do this?

I’m sure readers who are familiar with the Sanskrit love poem “Hamsa-Sandesha” are positively jumping out of their seats right now screaming the answer. But for everyone else, this part of the “Bruises” music video on the TrainVEVO YouTube station is a near identical copy of the scene in the aforementioned “Hamsa-Sandesha” when a letter is delivered to Sita while she is imprisoned by the demon king Ravana.

Hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

This next part isn’t for the faint of heart. Please heed my warning.




Normal suburban house, right? But what about that house number, 1203? It looks as if everything isn’t so pleasant here in Pleasantville.

1203 is a number packed with significance. Biblical significance. Cue up Deuteronomy 12:3:

And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Nice try, you cambion son of a bitch, but you just gave away your plan: destruction on a grand and terrifying scale.

And how will he, The Other, go about bringing death and tyranny in our realm? It's shockingly simple: Cambions carry semen from succubi to transplant into pure, earthly women. This is how they breed and multiply their sinister numbers.

That’s right, Ashley Monroe, the demon “Pat Monahan” is coming for you, and he won’t stop until he’s sewed his malicious, infected seed.

In this screengrab, Ashley prepares to say goodbye before her journey to meet “Pat Monahan.” Framed on the wall are two bloody handprints, which portend to the danger ahead.

I am surprised the nefarious powers behind the secret messaging in this video didn’t contact YouTube’s support staff to have this removed, as it is a little on-the-nose.

Meanwhile, “Pat Monahan” is conducting a ceremony of fire to worship the only entity he answers to: Beelzebub. Again, no fellow members of Train are around as their duty is merely to play the sweet, adult contemporary sounds that serve as the front to their master’s plan.

We cut to the Train performance at Red Rocks and, to the forces of good’s relief, Ashley Monroe is not there. Perhaps a divine hand intervened and prevented her flesh from becoming a vessel for the products of a sultry cambion orgy of dark delights. She looks to be safe.

Or is she?

It’s too late. Ashley Monroe plays a devil’s bacchanal in front of red curtains at the underworld’s third-coolest lounge. The audience sways and claps to her tune like the fallen in a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

Woe, for the seed has been planted and evil will reign forth.

I know many of you will accuse me of dismissing “Bruises” just because the lead singer of Train is a demon in the most literal sense. This just isn’t true. “Bruises” is a sweet tune, but lacks the fun of “Hey Soul Sister,” even though it tries to capitalize on its ukulele-driven pep. Try as they might, but “Pat Monahan” and the gang will need to work a little harder to replicate that magic.

Still, I have faith they will.

Nick Greene is a demon. He's on Twitter@nickgreene