From the Japanese release of Foreign Legion
“Thinking Cap” was written in early 2000, but the song was shelved until it became part of the band’s live set in the summer of 2001. Stylistically, it was written as a kiss-off song to Spongebath Records and the sound that Fluid Ounces was creating during that time, though I would argue that its chord-style is decidedly in the style of Foreign Legion. Its longevity, being included in setlists up to now, leads me to believe that Seth must be rather proud of this one. I like Kyle Walsh’s contribution of tapping out the song on the side of the snare drum as soon as the previous song ends, but overall, I’m pretty lukewarm on this song. I think its lyrics about deathrays are villains in smoking jackets, along with a chorus that includes, “Bless my soul,” and the title itself, are all a bit too far into the clever side, crossing the fine line into cliché. Even so, I enjoy the energy and piano lines, so I won’t say that I wish it banished from future setlists.
I believe it was treated somewhat like a single once Foreign Legion was released in Japan, based on a few comments I heard Seth make in 2001, and also on the fact that its lyrics were incorporated into the t-shirt design that you can see below (modeled by Tom Foolery):
Just before I started recording the Fluid Ounces show at the Boro on February 2, 2002 (one of the best live recordings I’ve ever made), Seth said that actually the shirt should read, “We Would Like for You to Put On Your Thinking Cap If You Want To.”
The video is from August 24, 2001, from the porch of the Red Rose.