We considered various song running orders for the album before settling on the final sequence. —Keir

Ever since so-called concept albums showed up in the classic rock era, an LP’s song order has been a big consideration. Some bands take their album sequence seriously, and some don’t—Radiohead allegedly almost broke up arguing about the “Kid A” sequence. For our first real album in a real studio, it felt like a big deal for us as well, exacerbated by the fact that Honey White was definitely in our Era Of Taking Things Seriously during 2004-05. We had about five—maybe as many as ten—sequences, and what was released was the best compromise. We all had sequence notes, but the only ones I could find were from Bryn (and one each from Brian and I), and instead of trying to parse a decade-old thought process, I’ll just let our old selves tell us about it:

Sequence 1 (listed first only because it would prove to be the final) “Let Go is a pretty good starter, I think, if we want to give a dark sound to the album at the start. Of course we can balance it with Island too.” —Bryn

Sequence 2 (my alternate track listing for our debut full-length studio album, including “Dead Man”)

Sequence 3 “I know Keir likes ‘Famous Last Words’ as the ender (and justifiably so) but there are a few that I feel can follow it—most notably ‘Blacking Out,’ since it starts sparingly and builds; good counter to the fade out on FLW.” —Bryn

Sequence 4 “Hell, why not just freak people out with ‘Sean’ at the beginning? Sets the tone for the rest of the CD in a demented way, which may not be a good idea, but I thought I’d throw this out there for consideration anyway. This one has a strong ending too, I think, with those three big songs at the end, and as Brian likes, the last three notes on the album coming from Jon’s ‘coolest sound ever’ keyboard.” —Bryn

Sequence 5 “This may be my favorite of the alternatives I thought up. Balances out the dark sounds of Blacking Out with our relatively happy Island Fever. Buries Mercy Rule in the middle-end of the CD, but it’s a small sacrifice, I think. Finishes with FLW and Oblivion—and what else, after all, would logically come after someone’s last words?” —Bryn

Sequence 6 “When I burned the songs onto one CD to listen to while driving to Santa Barbara, this is the order I had.” —Brian

Sequence 7 I don’t remember who thought this one up. Including the rough take of “Pisces” was never part of my plan. —Keir

Outtakes We did have a few outtakes and alternate versions:

  • “Dead Man,” which should have been on the album and I’m still kicking myself for that.
  • “Hold Still,” a composite mix I created a few months later with new lyrics over a studio jam.
  • “Pisces Lullabye,” the old Mojo Wire song that Honey White played at many 2002-2003 live shows.
  • “Sweet Oblivion,” the short version, a product of briefly considering breaking up the song and jam into two tracks.
  • “Distorchestra,” the live e-bow powered jam we lashed into shape as “Blacking Out” during this session.

I compiled these a few years later as hidden tracks included with free Bandcamp downloads of the album, and then eventually released them on their own. “Dead Man” is the only one worth writing home about of course, but it’s nice to have the full session fleshed out.