This song is a Fluid Ounces song in name only. It was played heavily by Spike and Mallets when Seth Timbs was a member, and always a crowd pleaser I might add, and was released on the many incarnations of Greetings from Spike and Mallets, the free CD they’d give away at their shows. The only time it has actually been listed as “Fluid Ounces” is when the same download that was available on the Spike and Mallets mp3.com page showed up on the Fluid Ounces official website.
But it’s a good song, and I think it’s worth some attention, both on this blog and through everybody’s ears.
Comparing his love to the beauty of Helen of Troy as, “the face that launched a thousand ships,” our Faustian lover narrating the song gives us the feeling that he is at his wit’s end as he searches out, “a place where old habits go to die hard.” I would say that its only shortcoming in its endless metaphors and imagery with infinite possible interpretations is the one that says,
“The girl that drove her car into the wall
Just trying to get inside the mall
Her windshield covered with unfolded maps
Busts through the concrete
and drives through the Gap.”
A reference to the Gap tethers this song to the year 2000, but this is only a minor flaw for such a great song.
The pallet of the song is changed in the demo with the presence of a slide guitar, which we haven’t heard on a Seth Timbs recording since “Record Stack.” Live, Elliott Currie, wearing his guitar-player hat (which was a much better fit, if you ask me), would add his own touch of blues to the song, though carefully remaining as understated as the lead guitar on the demo.