Track By Track: Dollar Bar
Dollar Bar’s songwriting triumvirate PATRICK MCCABE*, **DALE PEACHEY** and *CHRIS YATES guide us through the eclectic Hot Ones.
Dale Peachey: This one is about trying to get out of a relationship that you don’t want be in. A little inspired by Kinks and Elliot Smith. Written back in 2001.
‘Australia Hates Me’
Chris Yates: I lived overseas in South East Asia for a couple of years and when I returned to Australia I had a crushing sense of imposed authority bearing down on me and the unwavering sense of freedom I didn’t even realise I had picked up was instantly squashed. Add on top of that a political environment where even the ?less? conservative major party throws children in jail and I had a real sense of not belonging, which hasn’t really left me to be honest. I wanted to call it ?Australia Get Fucked? but I softened it in the end.
‘King Of Valentines’
Patrick McCabe: ‘King of Valentines’ is about putting faith in the lies that advertising would have us believe. It was written as an attempted sequel to another Dollar Bar song of mine, ‘[Impractical](http://dollarbar.bandcamp.com/track/impractical)’ – an approach which doesn’t usually work for me, but I’m really happy with how this one turned out. We had to slow the tempo of the basic drum track after it was recorded, and then I changed the key before we did all the overdubs. I guess you could call us Radiohead now. It was stacks of fun editing all of Dale’s guitar feedback into the massive intro build.
‘Wayne & Shuster’
Dale Peachey: I wrote this around 2001. It celebrates my love for ABC television programming. Lots of name dropping in tow. Sounds like You Am I, to me at least.
‘Vale Celebrity X’
Patrick McCabe: This one literally came to me while listening to a Tobin Sprout GBV song and singing new lyrics and melody over the outro, really loud in the car. I changed the chords around a bit and added a ?bridge? about fake TV show punches and it was done. The rest of the lyrics are about the shitty 24 hour media cycle and the hot air coming out of most of our politician’s mouths.
‘I’m In Love With Being In Love’
Dale Peachey: Originally written for beloved friends Extra Foxx, but never used, this tune rocks out at our best. The title comes from the Neil Simon film, ‘The Goodbye Girl’. It features Conwae from Extra Foxx doing a lead solo and vocals from Conwae, Tamara from Hits, and Jeremy from Velociraptor.
Patrick McCabe: This is what you get when you take a cricket reference for a title, listen to loads of Mentals and Aussie Crawl, and then stumble across a big riff on your guitar after you’ve been out to a matinee movie.
‘2 High 2 Care’
Chris Yates: Jonny Romeo is one of the first dudes I met when I moved to Brisbane in 1997 who made me feel like I had to fulfil my calling to be a loser musician. Despite never being in a full-time band together we have collaborated heaps of times, and about seven years ago I sent him this crappy track I made on my computer trying to sound like ‘Purple Rain’ and he sent me these lyrics sung over top – in my opinion the best he has ever written. I recorded a version with another band The Young Liberals with Dale, Ben Salter, and Donnie Miller playing drums before this one. Matt Banham also sings on this version because he was at my house the day I was mixing it.
Patrick McCabe: I’m so pleased Tam from Hits was able to duet on this, and she totally nails it. This one’s about an imaginary couple where the bloke loves heavy metal music and the lady is tiring of said heavy metal music. It’s a pretty different for Dollar Bar I think, which made it a good track for the coveted side two opening slot.
Dale Peachey: I think this is one of my best songs. Kind of a sister to Hero Of The Dial from our debut album. Also a little reference to Gaslight Radio and Rilo Kiley, musically. Short and busy.
Chris Yates: I was living with one of the best people in the world called Brad for a while in Melbourne. We were both going through a bit of a phase of loneliness and loserdom, but he pulled himself out of his a bit before me. He gave me the best advice one day, which was that as soon as you stop trying to be cool and realise that you’re a loser and there’s nothing wrong with that, then you can be truly happy. I tried to get as many as my friends as possible on the gang vocals – Ili Tulloch ad-libbed her own lyrics refusing to sing ?I’ve got a lot of drawbacks? insisting she doesn’t have any, which is definitely true.
‘Scarecrow And Mrs. King’
Dale Peachey: I really wanted a scratchy lo-fi track for this rekurd. A little uncomfortable but still a pop song. Always wanted to use the word ‘extrapolate’ in a song. It was recorded by my brother David at The Foundry in Red Hill. A lost Guided By Voices track, if that’s ok?
Patrick McCabe: This one takes me back to the shitty indie rock nights at Brisbane’s Normanby Hotel circa 2000-2001. It’s an old song that we could never seem to get down on record. It’s too hard for me to sing so Chris took over most of the vocals, and then Dale sails in and flies like a glorious eagle at the end.
Patrick McCabe: This is one of those songs that popped out of nowhere and wrote itself. I wrote the lead guitar licking knowing how sweet it could sound in Dale’s hands. The phrase “hot ones” holds different meanings for different people – smoking bongs, hot guys or girls, a bullet, hot days and hot nights, hot pedals, the list goes on? and I tried to cover them all in one fell swoop. Brendan’s drums on this track blow me away every time I hear it.
‘Pencil It In’
Dale Peachey: A song full of nonsense. It’s a phrase my friend Wayne uses for rehearsal scheduling. People have thought it’s about getting your life in order. Maybe it is so.
‘Walking In Circles’
Chris Yates: I wrote this song with a band I was in for a very brief time in Sydney called O For Awesome. Luckily I was able to get Martin Walters who played in the band to contribute vocals and an insane organ line. Martin is from New Zealand and evens wears a Flying Nun shirt at least once a week, so it was always going to sound like The Clean. Then I did a bunch of synth shit at the end blatantly trying to make it sound like Blank Realm, the idea being Brendan’s drums speeding up it makes this transition from one of the original indie rock legends to today’s newest indie rock heroes.
####Hot Ones is out now on digital and vinyl through [Sonic Masala](http://sonicmasalarecords.bandcamp.com/album/hot-ones). Read our review of the album [here](http://www.messandnoise.com/releases/2001434).