Super Adventure Club's Avoid Zombies: Track-by-Track, By the Band

Feature by Super Adventure Club | 23 Mar 2010

Hip Hop Hot Pot Pot Noodle
Tales, circumstances and quips from three people living on Bread Street in Edinburgh for three months in a tiny two bedroom flat – it was me (Neil), Bruce and our friend Maz (AKA Marilyn, AKA Soggy Pizza Hand). The place was a tip, but great fun; it was short, but seemed to go on forever. Most of the lyrics (like "hip hop hot pot pot noodle") are just sayings that came about and were repeated by the three of us for no real reason at all, other than we're a bit daft. Recording this song was great fun, we nailed it in a very short space of time. When recording the album this was one the songs that we felt extremely comfortable with.

Pick Up Sticks
A song about wanting to get away from familiar surroundings and dead-end situations. This is the first song we wrote for Avoid Zombies, just before we went on tour in France [in late 2008]. Mandy made a video for this song using only fuzzy felts, crayons and cut-outs of the band's faces, not to mention the killer rat. We recorded this prior to the rest of the album at Stow College in Glasgow in a stainless steel cube chamber, we thought we were going to die; alas we didn't and managed to record some upright bass for the closing bars of this track.

SAC Attack
A song about SAC being attacked by zombies in our house. We're pretty blasé about the whole thing, despite being attacked by flesh-eating zombies we still manage to phone mum, make tea, etc. Zombie apocalypse is the norm, we expected it... then, eventually, we get fed up and kill them all. When it came to recording we were still writing this song. We had an idea to make it sound like an 'army of Mandys' singing the song. We were aiming for the Phil Spector 'wall of sound', but with vocals. We told Mandy it was just a dry run so she kept singing through the whole song over and over again, eventually she asked if we were ready for the take and we told her 'it's done'. It was sneaky but we got the result we needed.

Sheila’s Stabiliser Wheels
A song about sexism towards men in modern society, presented with a brief counter argument from a woman. A laid-back swing feel made the musical part fun to record. But nothing could prepare us for the hilarity that would ensue attempting to record the 'barbershop quartet style' vocal intro. We don't like to shy away from any genre. We even got the recording engineer to lay down the high note on the opening vocal chord. That guy can actually hit a note. It all came together in the end and it sounds great.

A critique of F.W. Murnau's 1922 film Nosferatu. One half of the song tells of our admiration for this cult classic. The other half illustrates how ridiculous Nosferatu himself looks. As with most SAC songs, the music was written first and the lyrics written to suit the mood of the piece. There's a massively improvised section in this song that takes a turn for the frankly weird when we play it live, this didn't translate to the recorded medium as well as we presumed it might so we ended up stripping it back and watering it down two or three times before finding the correct balance between a free sounding improvisation and something that sounds good on a stereo.

This track provided us with the biggest surprise of the recording process. We added a couple of subtle guitar overdubs (something we've consciously tried to stay away from in the past because we want or records to sound like our band and we don't want people to be disappointed when they come to see us and think that it sounds 'half-missing'). We also got experimental with overdubbing a cymbal roll whilst someone else carried it closer to the mic. This was not essential and remains hard to spot on the CD, however it was fun, and we're all about FUN.

My Other Brain
A song about thinking with your cock and the trouble it can get you into. Again, it has a laid-back feel and groove is everything with this song. I think it took a couple of run-throughs to get perfectly into that vibe then we hit the record button and let the well-oiled rock machine that is Super Adventure Club spring into action.

Think Like a Fish
An instrumental; the title's inspired by Bruce's favourite cartoon King of the Hill, exploring variations of polyrhythm in 5/4 time. Playing this live seems to invite the 'those were some wacky time-signatures' comment a lot, which is great because it makes us feel like we've achieved our goal of fucking up the listener a wee bit. It's funny to us because it's not nearly as complicated as it sounds and we all have a bizarre enough sense of humour to actually find that amusing... we know, we're nerds. A hint of what's to come from SAC's rumoured forthcoming avant-garde album perhaps.

Pointless Self-Indulgence
A rhetoric of warning on the pearls of pointless self-indulgence in all aspects of life, but it’s mainly a metaphor for relationships. It was written after a long day's work in Maryhill, teaching Oasis songs to "disadvantaged" teenagers. SAC's first song without drums. Waz plays organ on the track and Mandy plays glockenspiel. It's entirely out of character for SAC, if there can be such a thing, and that's probably why we love it. A melancholy end to an emotional roller-coaster of an album; the 'come-down' to our rock high.

Avoid Zombies is released via Armellodie on 5 April.

Super Adventure Club play Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 25 March; Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh on 28 March and The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh on 9 April.