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Track By Track: Shady Lane ‘Built Guilt’

Songs about ‘headmeat’, suicide, self-obsession and spirituality – JORDY LANE takes us through his second album as Shady Lane, 'Built Guilt'. The follow-up to 2009’s 'Here We Go, Down the Black Hole', it was recorded between “the coziness of a friend’s home in the Blue Mountains, and the urban womb of a Sydney studio” using $2 microphones, a Korg MS-20 synthesiser and a ’70s Farfisa Organ.


‘Easybeast’

‘Easybeast’ is the beast of tranquility, peace and happiness. The one that we all seem be waiting for. She is a friendly beast indeed. At some point I suggest she is “in the meat”. Meat is a word I use for brain, or mind rather. Also know as “headmeat”. Therefore, I propose that happiness is in our minds. The beast is in the meat. Deep. Then I suggest that praying might just be a schizophrenic pastime. In other words searching and hoping for happiness is perhaps not the best way to go about getting it. Just let it be. Que sara, sara. Also there is no god. Oh well.

Happy with this one, thus its princely position as numero uno. Think I stumbled by trial and error across some nice guitar chords, and the synth is pretty. Things get spiritual towards the end and we start speaking in tongues and drifting into a heavy mist.

01 Easybeast by Rice Is Nice


‘Convenient Face Hinge’

Then we snap out of it.

This one’s about a yearning to burn our regular, dull lives to the ground and go on searching with all our might for the secret code of the universe, to spill the contents of our headmeat onto a plate and eat it and taste it and know entirely what it’s all about and who we are and our place in the cosmos, and to strive for truth. That said, it’s likely I’ll sit on the couch and watch The Voice with a bowl of ice-cream tonight.

Convenient Face Hinge - Shady Lane - Built Guilt by Rice Is Nice


‘Gwimnoddles’

This is one of those titles that you make up when you go to record a demo of a song that you haven’t finished yet and you have to choose something for the recording session. I guess this one’s about a period when I was thinking plenty about whether it’s a human right to take your own life when things turn to shit (or when our dicks go soft and our titties sag – because life would surely be quite feeble after this). I’m still haven’t decided entirely. But we’ll cross that bridge… 03 Gwimnoddles by Rice Is Nice


‘Dumb Hope’

This is a song about feeling useless and stupid like spilt semen on a tree trunk and then realising it doesn’t really matter because we all disappear someday anyway and all our troubles will go with it and that’s something to be hopeful for and something that makes my mind go ziiiiiiiing.

Dumb Hope - Shady Lane - Built Guilt by Rice Is Nice


‘Fluff n Stuff’

A fun little jam I had on one of those organs everyone seems to be trying to get rid of on Gumtree. It’s about listening to the sound a demon’s head makes when you brush it off your shoulder and it lands in a fire and its head pops. It’s about conquering the day’s dullness and troubles and being calm underneath the hood for once.

05 Fluff 'n' Stuff by Rice Is Nice


‘What Future?’

No lyrics here. But probably my second favourite track. It’s nice not to have to listen to my girly voice and self-obsessed lyrics. The scratchy sounds are my finger running along the cone of a little speaker I turned into a microphone. It was perhaps the funnest part of recording the album. The warbly wah bits come from a Farfisa organ. I looooove this instrument.

06 What Future by Rice Is Nice


‘Stretching Mr Meds Over A Spit’

Drugs. Prescription ones. Ones that save you from a dark abyss and make the world sparkle like you’ve just met a new gay lover, dancing on the beach, liberated and free. But you become dependent on your new lover and get electric shocks through your body when you’re not around them. Eh, people have much bigger problems. Life is good. 07 Stretching Mr Meds Over A Spit by Rice Is Nice


‘Eraser Brain’

Nineties galore. A ridiculous bridge to show off some mad skills. Short and neat and overdriven and unsubtle.

08 Eraser Brain by Rice Is Nice


‘Mother Mountain Rabbit’

I got excited about circuit-bending toys for a while there. This song was built around a recording of a Talking Lesson One/Speak N Spell-type toy. I ran it through a delay pedal and guitar amps and had an afternoon of pissing off my household. Adolescent bass riffs. More synth noise. It’s really quite unlistenable.

09 Mother Mountain Rabbit by Rice Is Nice


‘Starfish’

Pop song. Major/minor chords. Ends with a cocks-out guitar feast.

10 Starfish by Rice Is Nice


‘Happy Without Controls’

The only sample used on the album, I think? It gets cloudy. But it is an irresistible one. I IV V progression. What else do you need?

11 Happy Without Controls by Rice Is Nice


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‘Built Guilt’ is out now through Rice Is Nice.

  -   Published on Tuesday, May 22 2012 by Darren Levin.
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