Yet to say they are kind of an alt-country band is wrong. It just took me a while to get past the melodic guitar sound. It's been so long since I've heard guitar that doesn't sound like its patched through a million effects boxes that I'd almost forgotten the instrument could fill space with just its resonance. The more I listened to this recording, the more amazed I became at the quality of sound they were able to produce using only the standard rock and roll set up of bass, drums, and guitars. Normally you think "loud" when you think "full" for that kind of band. However, The Scenics manage to fill space with their music without necessarily being loud. It has a richness and a melody that gives it substance you don't normally find in a rock combo's music.
As they did originally, Meyers and Badger split the songwriting duties for this disc. Musically you can still hear traces of outside influences with Velvet Underground overtones here ("A Fox, Her Fur, an Where She Parks It"), a Birds influence there ("When You Come Around"), and rockabilly coming out on "No Sleep". The latter is actually the closest song on the disc to being akin to any of the old punk stuff you could hear back in the 1970s and early '80s. With a rockabilly beat given a hard and dangerous edge, you'd never confuse this with anything from the Sun Record catalogue. The lyrics have the same rather nasty tone to them as they describe the reasons for the "No Sleep" of the song's title. "I say I love you and I get the fear that you'll never dump me for a thousand years/No sleep/No sleep/No sleep anymore/Tall Sally's built for speed/Cheap speed is all she needs".
However, this track is the only one which comes in at under three minutes. In fact with the majority of the songs on the recording being a minimum of five minutes in length, these guys break the cardinal punk rule of keeping songs short, simple, and fast on nearly every cut. At over seven minutes, "Growing Pains" isn't even the longest cut on the disc. However, it's much more representative of the band's sound than "No Sleep". Haunting and sparse, but at the same time melodic, its combination of vocal and instrumental harmonies—listen for the guitar solo at about the three minute mark, with the second guitar providing a harmony line for the lead—is an object lesson in how a basic four-piece band can have intricate arrangements without sounding pretentious.
Judging by the lyrics, the title of the song refers to the growth and progression of a relationship, from that first spark of interest in a person who you might glimpse from afar and the gradual process of two people getting to know each other. "Some lights seem brighter when they're farther away/I'll make you my galleon/Somethings you hold just to hold away/And they're no answers/I see you in streets and shapes/I see you in sidewalks and streetcars/I see something else/And you're nowhere at all/Like me".