One of the most fun bass lines to play ever. I think Greg wrote it, no? Anyway, it is weird and twisting, and when I played bass in the band it was often what I would play when the sound guy would say "give me some bass" at sound check, particularly the bit at 2:12.
Yeah, I wrote the bass line to this song. Normally, I write bass lines that only sound good on six-string guitars, which, of course, defeats the purpose. They're usually too busy, trying to be their own melody, and as a result, stepping all over the real melody. Yet somehow this bass part works. As I mentioned elsewhere, this is my favorite song on the album, along with Pilot Light. It's got everything a top-40 radio station hates: no traditional hooks, no alternating verse-chorus, weird half-step melodies, vaguely violent and mostly meaningless lyrics, and, worst of all, a cuss word. It's got one thing that might appeal to a top-40 radio station: a fruity jazz chord (major seventh?), the first and only such chord I have ever incorporated in a song's progression. (Try to find it!) But again, somehow it's appropriate in this abomination to the conventions of pop music. Very fun playing this one live. Impossible to dance to, although we have a Japanese fan named Yo who does a pretty good boogie to it. By the way, whatever happened to you, Yo?
Backed across that bastard,
Spun the mud like fabric,
Tires lifting dropping,
The shining river blinds me...
One false stitch is all it takes,
Just throw your fist across your face and split a lip.
What a thrill to hurt yourself without a thing to blame
for all the suffering.
Serves us right, the violent types,
a word is flipped inside your mind until it's... shit.
Lost, all lost...
There's no crazy crush when
The thought is lost in
All the confusion,
The current swept it off...
Back across the byway,
Took the Northern Northern,
Spinal cord and muscle,
I'm strong as hell, I'm open...
Hollow rock beside an estuary bank
of mud and slime where a boat sank.
Clothing stretched across a stone,
cold cigarettes and chicken bones are all he left.
Stinking tide reminds a rat of better times and all
the bread he left behind.
All of the crumbs and gristled fat
he threw at birds who nagged and snapped
and cursed his eyes.
from Decline of Day,
released October 23, 2001
Words and music: Greg Giles