Back today with another selection off of 1994… this time, it’s “Splat Out Of Luck”.
Listen to Jimmy Eat World’s Original Recording
Now, check out mine:
As I mentioned during the livestreams, 1994 is the record I’m most unfamiliar with to this day, so I always get a little weird when I start to think about covering something of it.
I know people always tout this record as being the most removed from the catalogue, lacking that defined Jimmy “sound” we’ve all come to love, but it really is a great record. On this one I realllly dig the intro guitar line – I was going to just go ahead and learn it properly to cover it but you guys know thats not really my thing with these, so I came up with something else but the original guitar lines are really what make this song particularly cool to my ears.
This is another Tom Linton special so you KNOW I had a blast tracking the vocals on this one. On the livestream archive recording you can hear the vocal solos – I threw some grit and tucked it behind the main that I’m really proud of; Honestly I still get surprised that I can do that at all.
The bass line follows the main rhythm guitars, which I tweaked a bit for my version, and otherwise I had some fun throwing in a bunch of tom fills – I actually had too much fun. There are 4 toms on this track and there really should only be 3 at most. In an ideal world for me, a track like this would only have 2.
Okay, let’s rip apart young-Tom’s lyrics now.
I think if Tom Linton and I went to high school together we would’ve been the best of friends, in the way that only two very moody teenagers could be, barely speaking but happy to know each other is there.
Early-Tom was pretty vague in his writing. I’d be curious to know who his favourite lyricists are so that I can do a down and dirty compare and contrast to his style. It’s not a bad thing it just means I can write about literally anything I want and claim that it’s what he meant and that’s what we’re going to do right now.
So, let’s put ourselves in teen-Tom’s teen-shoes now.
I think with “my intentions are growing,” what we’re talking about is finding your footing as an individual, becoming a little more comfortable with yourself and where you want to see yourself in the future. Of course, we’re teens though, so with the rapid pace of making these types fo assessments and transitions, it can often both feel like it’s going too fast and too slow all at the same time – going nowhere near here, and leaving us feeling like we’re making little to no progress.
The following line I believe to be a bit of a reflection on that same idea, having once felt a sense of certainty with yourself, your actions and choices, but then losing sight of your own vision for one reason or another after feeling beat down by an experience. This could be a lot of things – for some, a bad teen-breakup, not making a grade you needed, botching that saxophone solo at the spring recital, losing a job or opportunity, or just falling short of your own expectations. Those negative experience can harden your heart (pulled over) and make you less likely to open up to future opportunities, and I think that’s what wise-young-Tom-thumb is speaking to in Splat.
Whoever Tom is speaking to here, I think the main take away is he’s got something to prove and he’s working on it in the background even when you don’t think he is. By “growing right side of wrong,” I think it’s safe to infer Tom’s diligently trying to get himself back on track, to wherever he was headed before he lost it, making all the right strides to bring himself out of this negative headspace.
And nothing you say or do at this point can stop him from achieving it. You’re too late.
I love the phrasing here, really. This verse is kind of funny in the context I’ve just invented for this entire song which is actually really quite empowering when you think about it, but it’s an important one because all the while as you’re making these positive changes for yourself and redefining your own life path, you’re going to continue to be faced with more and more obstacles and situations and experiences that will try to deter your from what you’re doing. Even the most secure people in the world face bouts of doubt along their journey – none of us are immune. It’s important to recognize when they’re happening and reassure yourself as we do again as Splat falls back into the pre-chorus and chorus lines after this.
As the old saying goes, when you find yourself fallen 40 feet off the tower and splat onto the concrete below, the most important thing is to pool all your pieces back together and mould them into yourself again. We are, after all, only tiny dancers made of silly putty.
This is my 18th cover in the series so far which means we’ve almost completed two whole albums! I think it’s almost time to revisit Chase This Light and either Static Prevails or Bleed American again. CTL will probably come first. I actually feel that’s one album that truly doesn’t get enough attention and it’s full of seriously dope, catchy tunes.
See ya back here next time!