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The Shins — The Rifle's Spiral
Album: Port Of Morrow
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1293








Released: 2012
Length: 3:25
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Dead lungs command it.
You pour your life down the rifle's spiral
And show us you've earned it.
Cleric's fog will recede right before your eyes.

So long to this wretched form.
Them gray eyes on the subway.
Long before you were born
You were always to be a dagger floating
Straight to their heart.

"Listen now, we won't tell anyone.
But you're gonna tell the world.
Then life ain't then any fun?
Let your viscera unfurl

As you rise, rise from your burning fiat,
Go, go get my suitcase. Would you?
You've thoroughly blown their minds
And now I must have passage on the lines
To the veins from your heart."

You're not invisible, now.
You just don't exist.
Your mother must be so proud.
You sublimate yourself, granting us a wish.

Primitive mirror on the wall,
to fortify your grim resolve.
And made the glitz of a shopping mall.
Another grain of indigent salt for the sea.

Good night to these wretched forms.
All them gray eyes on the subway.
So long before you were born
you were always to be a dagger floating
straight to their heart.
Comments (89)add comment
I used to always get them mixed up with The Decemberists early on, and every time I "leaned into" the songs I liked most I realized every time it was The Shins that I was drawn too.  For me, there is greater depth/breadth that is more compelling.  Funny Bill played Decemberists before this tune, affirming exactly that for me!
What a song!! The funny thing is that I think if all the odd bits and strange sound effects used in the song were listed on a piece of paper, I'd probably say, Nah, can't be bothered listening to that. And the songs turns out great, sounding just like it should.
Just so you know, I don't know much about music, it's just what it made me feel. Sorry if I'm not making any sense at all
Further to my previous comments on this - any song that is instantly recognisable from the first couple of notes is on the right track to potential immortality and when the song actually turns out to be as good as this one then its a deserved 9 from me.
The Shins have very quickly become a top five favorite band from me. More please!
Does anyone have a instrumental version of the song or know someone that has it? 
Great in concert too.
This one is slowly growing on me.
 JustJeff wrote:
The video for this song is amazing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyqWjl7GkCE

 
Yes!  Back when Nintendo had a video channel on the 3DS there was a stereoscopic 3D version of this video in the rotation, so I guess it exists in 3D too.
The video for this song is amazing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyqWjl7GkCE
 lizgober wrote:
Have always loved the Shins. Actually, you guys always make me happy with your selections.

 
AMEN{#Hug}
{#Bananajam}
great film fredriley  (I thought it was a llama sticking its head up from behind a boulder : P
The cover reminds me of the enchanter scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

Scene from the Holy Grail
Update on my previous comment - not only can I recognize The Shins now I am a devotee!  This is one of my favourites :)
Have always loved the Shins. Actually, you guys always make me happy with your selections.
Such a wonderful tune!  I always have to pause and just crank it up.  {#Bananajam}
The more I read in to this the darker the song is.  There is one part I'm not sure of though. 

"You're not invisible, now.
You just don't exist.
Your mother must be so proud.
You sublimate yourself, granting us a wish."

I get most of it, but what was 'our' wish?  I'm not sure I like the connotations but the song gets a rare but firm 9, fantastic.
                                                                I  dıg shındıg and Shins.

                                        
         Forget  about dead  lungs. and spıral too
                                            Thıs guy ıs a gunslınger  and got a second soul.
                                         
           Pour life only down the rifle's caliber.
                                            
                                  
                                                

Those perfect vocals have a slight Human League feel that can only make my ears stick to the speakers.
Me too - I am starting to recognise their sound and I look at the RP website and it says - the Shins - and I nod to myself and am liking it.
 stunix wrote:
Very quickly getting addicted to this.   simple but intreguing ditty.

8

https://goo.gl/qzRv7p

 
Yep, I gotta agree wif you
Very quickly getting addicted to this.   simple but intreguing ditty.

8

https://goo.gl/qzRv7p
Good tune... makes me think of todays election returns... it so happens the Socialists had a whopping 100 percent increase since the last cycle... this time two voted for them instead of one!
LOVELY

William Shatner as Captain Kirk, screaming and sweating like a pig!
 
If that isn't comic book imagery, I don't know what is... {#Roflol}
{#Music}
 ladybinnath wrote:
For years I've blown the Shins off

 
Lucky Shins :o)
Starting genius. Chills!
The lyrics to this song are so thought provoking. I find they pop into my mind occasionally. The more I hear this, the more I like it.
 kcar wrote:

William Shatner as Captain Kirk, screaming and sweating like a pig!

 Seriously: why didn't Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein riff on Captain Kirk, '60s icon?


It was probably too soon for Warhol; Kirk wasn't really an icon until later on, and Lichtenstein dealt primarily with comic book imagery.
For years I've blown the Shins off, viewing them as interchangeable with so many other indie-rock acts.  My ex got me to give Sea Legs (from Wincing the Night Away) a second chance, but it's this album that's proven me wrong.  Great stuff.  This one's an 8 for sure.
This line in particular always comes back to me: "So long to this wretched form"
Such an interesting song....lyrics very compelling.
Pretty much loved this song all along but tonight I've watched the video and I love it that much more. Dark. Disturbing. 

Makes me happy. 
 Sasha2001 wrote:

Well, if you didn't hate it at first then love it later it wouldn't be a Shins record, would it?

 
Too true, but man that's cold to read in black & white.
Great song from fantastic album
 WonderLizard wrote:

Head, Hands and Feet

 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/heads-hands-and-feet/id595777531

Oh FFS.   {#Doh} I thought you were kidding. 

Pop culture...toofast! Can-NOT...keep UP!

William Shatner as Captain Kirk, screaming and sweating like a pig!

 Seriously: why didn't Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein riff on Captain Kirk, '60s icon?
(9/26/13 edit: great great segue Bill    Pink Floyd: See Emily Play—> The Shins: The Rifle's Spiral )
 stephw wrote:
I'm a HUGE fan of the Shins but hated this cd when I first heard it. Took me some time and now it's one of my faves. Love the accompanying video for this track. {#Dance}

 
Well, if you didn't hate it at first then love it later it wouldn't be a Shins record, would it?
Always lovely - always special!
I'm a HUGE fan of the Shins but hated this cd when I first heard it. Took me some time and now it's one of my faves. Love the accompanying video for this track. {#Dance}
 stegokitty wrote:

" living in the age we live in and my disrespect and fear of religion in general just fueling that intense hatred and appalling violence."

As if all religion is guilty of terrorism. Overly simplistic, broad-painting, stereotyping nonsense. But what do you expect from a rock band?

 
Very few religions aren't guilty of some form of terrorism.  The biggest problem with religion is that involves humans.
 stegokitty wrote:

" living in the age we live in and my disrespect and fear of religion in general just fueling that intense hatred and appalling violence."

As if all religion is guilty of terrorism. Overly simplistic, broad-painting, stereotyping nonsense. But what do you expect from a rock band?

 

Well, that's an interesting comment, since virtually all monotheistic religions actively recruit those who crave overly simplistic, broad-painting, stereotyping nonsense.  Terrorism is just one possible negative result of the kind of twisted mass mind-set that a preoccupation with theologic constructs can foster. 

Have an idea for a new religion?  It's simple to get started:

Step 1:  throw away reality and ignore perception
Step 2:  marginalize anyone with a different view or no view at all
Step 3:  use the power of superstition to control the masses

I think a healthy disrespect for (and a fear of) a universe-view with those cornerstones is simply sensible self-preservation, whether you're a rock band or not.

Oh yeah... the song is really cool.
 Minimally wrote:
This song is really interesting. At first I just liked the melody and sort of ignored the lyrics. Then I looked into the lyrics to clarify the Fiat reference to figure out if this was about a car accident. Turns out this song has much deeper meaning then the upbeat-ness leads onto. I found this from an interview with the artist James Mercer.

“The song is written from the perspective of somebody funding and paying for suicide bombers to engage in that horrible activity. Just the perverse and grotesque thing that that is, and you know, living in the age we live in and my disrespect and fear of religion in general just fueling that intense hatred and appalling violence.”

I'll put this in the category with Orange Crush by R.E.M.

 
" living in the age we live in and my disrespect and fear of religion in general just fueling that intense hatred and appalling violence."

As if all religion is guilty of terrorism. Overly simplistic, broad-painting, stereotyping nonsense. But what do you expect from a rock band?
This song is really interesting. At first I just liked the melody and sort of ignored the lyrics. Then I looked into the lyrics to clarify the Fiat reference to figure out if this was about a car accident. Turns out this song has much deeper meaning then the upbeat-ness leads onto. I found this from an interview with the artist James Mercer.

“The song is written from the perspective of somebody funding and paying for suicide bombers to engage in that horrible activity. Just the perverse and grotesque thing that that is, and you know, living in the age we live in and my disrespect and fear of religion in general just fueling that intense hatred and appalling violence.”

I'll put this in the category with Orange Crush by R.E.M.
Second time hearing this song on RP, and I am now a confirmed and committed 8 rating - this is really, really good.
 drsteevo wrote:

Do you realize there is often more than one way to describe something when using English?

 
I saw the "rifle's spiral" as being a spinning gun on a table, like a weird Russian roulette game, and whomever it points at in the end gets it.

The imagery of this song is just fantastic.


Don't know why I like this song so much ... Close to tipping from 9 to 10.
{#Yawn}
Shins/Broken Bells 3-4 time per day, and I'm not even listening all the time. What happened to "diverse assortment of songs"?

Everyone in my hotel room is a little sleepy.


This Port of Morrow album is starting to grow on me.  Nice work from some of my hometown boys.
Actually pretty freakin' AWESOME, in typically subdued and wildly enigmatic Mercer style, and it's grown on me like moss on the north side of a tree...glad to hear them continue to come up with new stuff, too!
Pep, tight, flow, and creative as hell in the production!! Decent lyrics and upbeat music! Gets an eight!!
I really like these guys. Don't know what it is. Unique vocals, interesting instrumentals.
I just like it...feels good. 
These folks are very appealing to me. Not sure what it is. Intriguing breadth of vocals, for one thing. A big fan of them.
This has a definitive edge to it. Like creeping on a melody or something. I like the recurring drum part and stoic bass part. Ok, I like it that's all I need to say I suppose. So far I like everything I've heard from this album.
I just bought this CD for my God-Daughter for Xmas!  (She's 41, BTW—not, like, 8)
 WonderLizard wrote:

I've been reading a lot of Alan Furst's and Olen Steinhauer's espionage mysteries lately. This language—tho' I highly doubt if Mercer at all intended this—could describe any one of their murderous operatives, some genial, some less so.
 
If not spies, then terrorists or something less political like a disgruntled ex-employee, or disaffected student, or any other perpetrator of premeditated violence against random persons. Nice contrast with the melody, I hadn't suspected such a heavy message under the calm tune.
Agreed. I have always been a moderate Shins fan, but everything that I have heard off this album is very good. 



Honestly?  That's just plain lazy listening in my book.  I wasn't terribly impressed by earlier Shins albums, but this one is spectacularly good.  
 


 FlatCat wrote:
I loved the first Shin's song I heard (on RP of course), and then every other one has sounded exactly the same. I am completely bored of the Shin's.
 

Honestly?  That's just plain lazy listening in my book.  I wasn't terribly impressed by earlier Shins albums, but this one is spectacularly good.  
Mercer hasn't lost a step, and I am still happily digging The Shins!  Chutes Too Narrow and Oh, Inverted World! were on the iPod yesterday, and in there, and this, is a wit and a sound that sounds great anytime, anyplace! 
I can't stop listening to this song !
 Poacher wrote:

Head, shoulders, knees and toes. . . knees and toes.
 
https://www.allmusic.com/artist/heads-hands-amp-feet-mn0000953215
 TerryS wrote:
The rifle's spiral is called errr rifling
Rifling of a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.
 
Do you realize there is often more than one way to describe something when using English?
I've always had a soft spot for Fiat's.  My mum had a Mirafiori, which my brother was lucky enough to learn to drive in, may she rust in peace (the Fiat not my mother). 
My first car was an X1/9 I owned it when I met my wife to be. We have some very fond memories of that car, lets just say; you don't need a back seat to have fun, but being able to remove the roof sure helps.
After a few years on bikes (Duke, Kawak, Honda) a new son and grown up responsibilities saw me in a Coupe 20v.

None of them ever caught fire (I know!)
The rifle's spiral is called errr rifling
Rifling of a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.

 adroc wrote:

here here. I second your sentiments.
 
I hear ya, brah...
 kcar wrote:
Catchy. Bouncy. Fun. Yes.

("The Shins? The Shins, Bob? What's next, Elbow?") 
 


The Head and the Heart! 
Love this song!
I loved the first Shin's song I heard (on RP of course), and then every other one has sounded exactly the same. I am completely bored of the Shin's.
 gatorade wrote:
"You're not invisible now. You just don't exist." ~Their words.

"Frustration, disappointment, and sadness. Not exactly the trifecta I had in mind." ~My words.
 
What would you prefer their lyrics be about?
 adroc wrote:

Hahaha you're hearing that correctly "as you rise from your burning Fiat".

Dead lungs command it. You pour your life down the rifle’s spiral and show us you’ve earned it. The cleric’s fog will recede right before your eyes. So long to this wretched form them grey eyes on the subway. Long before you were born you were always to be a dagger floating straight to their heart. "Listen now we won’t tell anyone but you gonna tell the world. This whole life ain’t been any fun. Now your viscera unfurls as you rise from your burning Fiat and go get my suitcase. Would you? You’ve thoroughly blown their minds and now I must have passage home. Your life. Just two veins from your heart.” You’re not invisible now. You just don’t exist. Your mother must be so proud. You sublimate yourself granting us a wish. A primitive mural on the wall to fortify your grim resolve. Amid the glitz of a shopping mall. Another grain of indigent salt for the sea. Good night to these wretched forms. All them grey eyes on the subway. So long before you were born you were always to be a dagger floating straight to their heart.
 
I've been reading a lot of Alan Furst's and Olen Steinhauer's espionage mysteries lately. This language—tho' I highly doubt if Mercer at all intended this—could describe any one of their murderous operatives, some genial, some less so.
 All them grey eyes on the subway

Cheery little tune.
"You're not invisible now. You just don't exist." ~Their words.

"Frustration, disappointment, and sadness. Not exactly the trifecta I had in mind." ~My words.
 toomanyollys wrote:
Every time I hear this, I see this in my mind. Perhaps I am mishearing the lyrics...

 
Hahaha you're hearing that correctly "as you rise from your burning Fiat".

Dead lungs command it. You pour your life down the rifle’s spiral and show us you’ve earned it. The cleric’s fog will recede right before your eyes. So long to this wretched form them grey eyes on the subway. Long before you were born you were always to be a dagger floating straight to their heart. "Listen now we won’t tell anyone but you gonna tell the world. This whole life ain’t been any fun. Now your viscera unfurls as you rise from your burning Fiat and go get my suitcase. Would you? You’ve thoroughly blown their minds and now I must have passage home. Your life. Just two veins from your heart.” You’re not invisible now. You just don’t exist. Your mother must be so proud. You sublimate yourself granting us a wish. A primitive mural on the wall to fortify your grim resolve. Amid the glitz of a shopping mall. Another grain of indigent salt for the sea. Good night to these wretched forms. All them grey eyes on the subway. So long before you were born you were always to be a dagger floating straight to their heart.
 WonderLizard wrote:

Head, Hands and Feet
 

... Dicky Betts
 Sasha2001 wrote:
Solid first track on a terrific new album. Perhaps the entire LP isn't as edgy as Wincing, but the melodies are perhaps more catchy and the lyrics more approachable. Purists will no-doubt carp about mainstream pandering by Mercer but I think the direction he's gone in speaks to his maturation as one of the finest songwriters around. Obviously, I'm a fan.
 
here here. I second your sentiments.
Every time I hear this, I see this in my mind. Perhaps I am mishearing the lyrics...


 WonderLizard wrote:

Head, Hands and Feet
 
Head, shoulders, knees and toes. . . knees and toes.
This album has been growing on me the last few weeks.  Some personnel changes but still very likable.

Thanks Bill!
 kcar wrote:
Catchy. Bouncy. Fun. Yes.

("The Shins? The Shins, Bob? What's next, Elbow?") 
 
Head, Hands and Feet
every time i hear these guys i think they're great.  A new favorite  {#Drummer}{#Dance}
Catchy. Bouncy. Fun. Yes.

("The Shins? The Shins, Bob? What's next, Elbow?") 

I've heard two songs from this CD, only on RP, and only while I'm working at my desk. First impression for both = plastic. Generally, they've felt like annoying background music that doesn't fit the rest of the soundtrack for the film you're watching. So, the rating of 1 up there? That's mine.
Looks like Morrow Rock on the album cover. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morro_Rock
heard their new music on NPR, including this one.. not overly impressed!! sad, becasue their previous album was fenomenal!
Solid first track on a terrific new album. Perhaps the entire LP isn't as edgy as Wincing, but the melodies are perhaps more catchy and the lyrics more approachable. Purists will no-doubt carp about mainstream pandering by Mercer but I think the direction he's gone in speaks to his maturation as one of the finest songwriters around. Obviously, I'm a fan.
Finally!! New Shins, can't wait to get it (and a tour to hear it live)
gonna be a great album..keep playing
Yay! New Shins!