The Spine Surfs Alone (EP)

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The Spine Surfs Alone ep cover
The Spine Surfs Alone
EP by They Might Be Giants
First released July 13, 2004
Release details / collectors: Show | Hide
Tracks 7
Label Idlewild <IDLE 103> Length 11:38
"Pardon Our Appearance" cover
"Pardon Our Appearance" back

The Spine Surfs Alone was an EP released by They Might Be Giants on July 13, 2004, the same date that The Spine was released. It was made available as a CD and also available for download from the TMBG Download Store. The EP's release marked the first time that the band issued two releases on the same day.


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John Flansburgh in Newsweek, 2004:

The Spine Surfs Alone is really interesting because it's a really unreasonable EP—it might as well be called 'Our Halloween Record.' It's all these ugly, over-the-top creepy songs. I have no idea how a proper rock critic would respond to it—I would imagine they'd hate it because it's really unimportant and in some ways kind of silly. It's exciting to have an outlet that's so appropriate.

John Linnell in SubModern Report, 2004:

There’s a lot of material on The Spine Surfs Alone that is more for the people who already like us. [The] material is a little more difficult to listen to, I think. It’s stuff that we like a lot, but I don’t think we’d want to inflict it on everybody, as sort of the first wave of what they might hear by us. I love The Spine Surfs Alone, but I think a lot of that material is more challenging. [...] We always have extra material. We’re always doing a lot of work. Some of the stuff on The Spine Surfs Alone was stuff that we cooked up possibly for the album, and some of it is just material that we have in addition – not just to spill over, it’s the other thing, it’s more stuff.

Many copies from the first run of the EP, sent out to those who purchased it via TMBG's online store, lacked a full set of liner notes. Instead, early copies substituted in a "Pardon Our Appearance" cover. These copies were also pressed on CD-Rs with non-professional labels, rather than CDs, which were used for the later version. In order to get a full set of liner notes, one could email Operator Dot with their name and address.

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length  Lyrics Guitar Tab
1 The Spine Surfs Alone 1:18 
2 Now Is Strange 2:20 
3 I'm All You Can Think About 2:31 
4 Fun Assassin 2:03 
5 Skullivan 1:44 
6 The Other Side Of The World 0:40 
7 Canada Haunts Me 1:03 


  • In the notes for the EP, producer Pat Dillett is nicknamed "P-nice".
  • In 2013, some recipients of the second-edition Them Ain't Big Eye Ants DVD also received CD copies of this EP, due to the fact that the band was clearing out old merchandise and found packaging extra stock with the DVDs to be a convenient way of doing so.