Published Sep 03, 20131. "Taste The Diff"
"We all work in graphic design and a couple of us have worked in advertising. So, we, in a really nerdy way, are really obsessed with fonts and slogans and logos, and when we're goofing around at practice, we come up with cornball slogans that are essentially a play-by-play of our practice. 'Taste the Diff' came from that where we were having a beer at practice and ran out of the one kind and someone offered another and somebody said, 'Mmm, you can really taste the diff!'"
2. "Spun Out"
"The basic nuts and bolts of it were kicking around for a long time, and it was just one of those songs that kept eluding us. It seemed cool at the time and then we'd listen to practice recordings and something about it was just not working. So, we actually let it go for a couple of years and then, as we were going through song options, it came up and we were like, 'Yeah, it's pretty good.' So, Greg kind of tightened his bass line up a bit, I did a harmonizing part with it, and I really loved the rockabilly, twang-y chords that Rick came up with there. Once we did that, it felt like we had something. In the chorus, Greg's bass line is actually in ¾ so, as the guitar chords change, his pattern actually lands in a different spot every time and it gives it this ovoid shape, as opposed to circular, which I really like. Then we re-vamped that for the outro. And Rick's vocal melody on 'Spun Out' is one of my favourites on the record; it's very sing-y."
3. "It's Sick"
"This one started out as kind of a Vibrators thing and ended up being 'Do we go the Ruts route, the ZZ Top route, or the Dr. Feelgood route?' and ended up like none of those. It sounds most like a Chrome song, which is why I think Rick sings the way he does. He kind of takes on a character in his vocals, which I thought was really cool. He hadn't done that before and, honestly, when he first did it we were like, 'Whoa! What's he doing?' But, because it gives it this menacing quality, it really works for the lyrics. I like how it goes from these very, tight staccato verses into these bigger, broader choruses and the cheese rock outro with the guitars wangling their way down."
4. "This Must Be Done"
"That song is actually the first one on the record that really established the variants of the sound palette of the record. It's something that we'd actually recorded in our practice space and it was just Greg and Rick and me — I was playing tambourine with my foot just to keep time. We really liked the simplicity of it in the practice room recording. We took it to our friend's recording studio, dumped it down onto his 8-track and Alexis overdubbed his drums, Greg doubled his bass, [we] added acoustic guitar, which is a first for one of our records, and I accentuated one of my guitar parts. I thought it was a nice way for us to break away from the traditional 'band-in-the-room' approach, which I really like and works for us but it was cool to make a record to take, for us, what might be chances and break away from the documentarian side of things."
5. "Pet Trust"
"To me, it's a really sweet-sounding song. Rick's first line is 'Make sure you care for your love / And provide for your friends' — that's a really sweet line. That's like romantic poetry man. This was definitely a hard one to work on because the guitar playing on it is different than most of our guitar parts for other songs. I hesitate to say it veers on 'funky' but it was just trying to make sure we were erring on the side of the Minutemen or Big Star even, and not falling into that weird Chili Peppers ditch. It's not our ditch. It was a fun one to work on though."
"I think this is on the Ethiopiques 5 compilation and we all really liked these Ethiopian compilations a lot. This song, if you listen to the original, you will hear the same melody but it's actually played on some kind of flute or out of tune wind instrument. I don't know if it was Rick or Greg who suggested it but we were playing it in practice for a while. This was when Scott [Gursky] was still in the band and we did a bunch of recordings of it in practice, thinking we'd take an idea from it and write something of our own from it. When we were making this record, we stumbled upon one of those practice recordings and I think that it works and goes with the spirit of the song. We like to have at least one instrumental song on each record, just to take a breather or have a palette cleanser."