5. Wrecking Ball

From the upcoming album Band Not the Weapon, the song Wrecking Ball:

a swing in motion, demolition for display 
every time you blink i break away
this kind kinetic contradiction i just canʼt avoid
what you build is what i will destroy
still unstable, and swaying from this pedestal
i breeze in weightless, then i come on like a wrecking ball
here it comes, the blind momentum, but itʼs not without some regret
youʼre going down but you just donʼt know it yet
it’s what i call epic fail fixation, and itʼs the one thing i canʼt avoid
everything you build i will destroy
it leaves a wake, and something good could still stand tall
just seems so aimless, when i come on like a wrecking ball
©2012 Tom Townsend (BMI) all rights reserved
from the upcoming CD Band Not the Weapon, American Catapult (FSR)

This song, to me, is another in a LONG line of 3 minute pop songs I’ve written in the last, I don’t know, twenty years or so. Going back to the days of Laugh Out Loud, even before that, Wrecking Ball exists on the same continuum with Wait For You, Clubhouse, 16 Cents, One Moment, Pop Song #19, Sleeping in the Beds, and others I no longer remember. Verse then quick to the chorus, clever wordplay (can you say Kind Kinetic Contradiction in a regular sentence?), upbeat feel. This really is more of a hootenanny than the others; its closest kin may be Clubhouse except now we can actually play that style and it fits us well. We also put the solo work near the end instead and then a false end followed by a slow tempo change coda. Clever, I know, that’s what writing pop songs is all about, that’s what I’m saying. Shawn and I both have an extreme Squeeze/Crowded House/80’s pop vein running through us that strings us along. I’m sure the other AmCatters don’t see the connection to the past quite like I do, but it’s there and I can’t help myself sometimes.

We started working this song out late 2009 I think, with just the progression and the feel. Shawn commented in rehearsal that it sounded like a wrecking ball, and thus the title was born, and finally I had something to write about. Finished the song, and felt like it was a good song to pass on to friends of ours in the band Neon West (out of Venice CA), even played it for them on a night together at the Cinema Bar but we never connected to record it. There’s always been the idea to record a straight ahead version of this song and then a raw acoustic hootenanny in a big room somewhere with fiddle and pedal and a bunch of people. That’s for a future project. James plays the dobro on this version like a banjo, because we wanted a banjo sound in there but no one owns one. We think it’s a brilliant move though.


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