¿Care to Jäm?

by Ground Rules

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released June 26, 2015

Chad - drums, liner notes
Archie - bass, "vocals"

Recorded at the Pillow Fort in December 2014 and May-June 2015.



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Ground Rules Atlanta, Georgia

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Track Name: Irons in the Fire, Part I: A New Hope
Irons in the Fire was one of the last songs we finished before recording the album, and was actually one long song before we decided to split it into three parts. The name "Irons in the Fire" actually comes from Part II of the song, which was originally its own song that we wrote (but never finished) when we still played with Trevor.

The beginning of the song was a "riff" Archie always jokingly threatened to use, which turned out to be a great way to kick off the album.

If you listen closely near the end, you can hear me count out the number of reps left before we go to Part II - this is because we never agreed on a number of times to play his 9/8 riff before transitioning.

This song constantly changes meter and tempo, showing our obsession with unusual time signatures and musical cues.
Track Name: Crash and Burn
This song was originally written entirely by Archie for his old band, The Tides, and was carried over into Ground Rules. A version of this song with Trevor on guitar and Greg, the old drummer, on drums made it onto "It's Pronounced Ground Rules."

Archie always hates playing this song, but I think it's great. The fact that it's become our "signature song" among our friends probably doesn't sit very well with him either! Whenever we play this song live, usually we'll just play the opening riff, jump straight into a different song, and then jump right back into the final chorus of Crash and Burn.

At earlier shows, we'd go straight into an old song called Mr. Pitiful after Crash and Burn before we dropped both songs from our set altogether.
Track Name: Dr. P & the J-Man
Another "classic" Ground Rules song, also on the EP, and also written with Trevor and Greg before I joined the band. This was one of the two songs we recorded a demo of (the other being The B-Side) when we were asked to play on WMRE, Emory University's student-run radio station.

The name comes part from Dr. Pepper and part from a long night of recording where a sleep-deprived Trevor joked about the janitor - The J-Man - stalking them.
Track Name: Irons in the Fire, Part II: The Empire Strikes Back
Before it was split up, the song now known as Irons in the Fire (then known as "Fetus Slam" after an inside joke) was just parts I and III. Before Part II came about, we always referred to the entire song as "the riff in 15" or "the 6-7 one" before Archie inserted what is now Part II into the middle of the song to catch me off guard one day. We decided to keep it just to make the song even longer than it already was.

The song now known as Part II was originally itself called Irons in the Fire, and we decided to carry the name over to the entire composition.

This song revolves around Archie's slow, heavy riff in 7/4, which was inspired by King Crimson's Indiscipline and Moocow by a local Atlanta band called Pillage & Plunder.

I believe we only ever played the original Irons in the Fire live once, that time with Trevor. Originally, at the end, we'd go into a quiet, dark-sounding jam in 7/8, but we never figured out how to end it.
Track Name: Fully Involved
This was one of the first songs ever written by Ground Rules, back when it was just Archie and Trevor. The highlight of the song is in the middle when Archie breaks into his 7-7-7-8 riff - whenever we played this song live, he'd turn on his wah pedal for an extra-funky sound.

Originally, there was no intro to the song - the intro was written shortly after I joined the band. I believe we tried to make it a song on its own, but we decided we liked it better as the intro to this song. If I remember correctly, the intro riff was in a different meter before we decided to put it in 5/8.

This song is indeed named after Firehouse Subs.
Track Name: The Comeback
The Comeback was written in two minutes right before we recorded it in one take, and was never meant to be on the album. I had joked before to our friends about writing a "Seinfeldcore" song where all the lyrics are just Seinfeld quotes, and I convinced Archie to record my idea in our last few hours of recording. Surprisingly, it sounds just like I had imagined!
Track Name: The B-Side
Along with Dr. P & the J-Man, Archie and I recorded a demo of this song to send to WMRE when we were asked to play on one of their radio shows. This song is based off Archie's insane bass abuse that opens the song, and consistently stays in 6/8 throughout. This is one of the first songs we wrote after Trevor left the band.

In the middle of the song we slow down to a different tempo, and the dotted eighth notes of the original tempo become the eighth notes of the new tempo. The tempo change during the bridge was my idea and is a nod to Honestly? by American Football, where they do a similar change.

This song was originally supposed to be called "Sulk Hogan" after an old band name Archie joked about using, but was renamed to The B-Side after we were would make it the B-side to a single if we were ever going to release one.
Track Name: Party in a Can
Another post-Trevor song, written around the same time The B-Side was written. The similarity between the two songs is most noticeable in their structure - they're both in the form intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus-outro. This is the most funk-sounding song we've ever written, except for an unrecorded song called Zeep Gorp (written entirely by Greg) that used to be played live when Ground Rules was still a three-piece.

This song is the best example of how heavily we rely on cues to change parts. Everything starts breaking down as soon as Archie transitions to his riff in 5/4, and the part immediately afterward is so difficult for Archie to play that he can barely play this song without a bass pick.

The weird-timed part is even more interesting: the meter progression after the 4/4 part is 6/8-7/8-10/8-7/8-6/8-23/8-6/8-7/8, then back to the intro riff. Originally, we wanted a part where the length of each measure is one beat more than the one right before it, and we wanted a measure of - specifically - a high prime number. We eventually settled on 23.

This song was originally called "I'm Not Trying to Impress You, But I'm Batman," after a song a friend of mine from high school wrote. We renamed it to Party in a Can shortly before recording, after we were described as a "party in a can" on a show poster by a band who had never heard of us before.
Track Name: Last (Wolfson Greene Cover)
This is a cover of a song by our friend Jason Greene, who heads his own electronic/chillwave solo project Wolfson Greene. For a few months in late 2013-early 2014, Wolfson Greene was a 5-piece, with me on drums and Archie on bass. This sped-up cover is a tribute to what's considered one of the best totally unknown bands in Atlanta.
Track Name: Irons in the Fire, Part III: Return of the Jedi
The final part of Irons in the Fire. Some of the best sounds on this entire album come from the very beginning riff Archie plays, which has a meter progression of 7-7-7-8 like in Fully Involved. The part afterward that I count off into revolves around the beat I play on the ride, which Archie wrote around. That part was originally a lot more disco-sounding, especially before effects were added to fill out the sound during mixing.

The song finally ends on the alternating 6-7 riff from Part I, which slows down to as slow as possible over the course of a few minutes. Archie always liked getting a rise out of the audience by not letting the song end until it's at something like 30 BPM.

The lick at the very end is taken directly from Booty City, a song that the famous Champagne Room used to cover at their shows, and that Ground Rules occasionally covered.
Track Name: Voodoo Groove
Another "classic" Ground Rules song, and our standard set closer. Like a few others, this was written before I joined the band, but was never properly recorded except for a live version.