REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER: Regan sent me the lyrics by email late in ’03. I found the chorus melody quickly, then I fit most of the rest of his lines into the REM-inspired verses. Recorded as a one-off in Fred’s basement in March 2004, and we wound up leaving my crude placeholder lead vocal because I sounded so much like the sick, pathetic cracker the song is about.
INNOCENT BYSTANDER: This is a Regan-Coyle song written about 25 years ago during the post-Fear Brothers days. I had never heard it until Coyle brought it with him into Fred's studio in May '04. Heard the chorus and immediately busted a gut. Love the way Coyle arranged it, even the Ray Davies Kicked a Hole in my Speaker amp sound he wanted on the electric rhythm guitar.
DRUNK BY NOON: Early demo has me singing “la la la” for the melody and shouting “Drunk by Noon” as the only coherent line in the song. I must have been drunk at the time. Regan and I wrote lyrics during those winter sessions in ’99. Had heard a funky piano in it originally but like the punk aesthetic we ended up with.
CACTUS AND SKULLS: Wanted to write a ZZ Top song, though it ended up not sounding too much like them. Had a song I called “Border Town” in the can with a Tex-Mex feel but it seemed dated and plodding so this one took its place. Written and basic tracks recorded Dec ’03. Chuck Leggett, a mean Seattle blues harpist, lent both this song and “José” his considerable talent. His parts recorded Feb 10, ’04, and he sounded so good I had to record my guitars over again.
STOP RIGHT HERE: This didn’t seem like a song this band would play until put in the context for this album, which for better or worse, seems to progress away from the “Mine are bigger than yours” posturing of our earlier stuff. This was the last song I wrote; wrote it on a Saturday, hated it on Sunday, liked it again on Monday. The basic guitars and drums were recorded on April 5, ’04. Fred still insists that the time signature of the 3-bar intro is flawed, but it counts out to me just fine. Found out quickly I couldn't play a normal pentatonic scale for the solo on this one so I just faked it.
ROADHOUSE: This was intended to be a nasty song about penis size in ’98. I had always thought I’d shelve it but late in ’03 I dredged up some inspiration and wrote completely new lyrics with a new melody. The drum track had been recorded all those years ago so I fit the new song onto the old drums. It timed out. Wanted Regan to sing it like James Brown. Edd Key’s mandolin really helps turn the song into a bit of country funk.