Since 2004, the band had been working on the follow-up to their 2003 release Wormwood. The band had debuted well over a dozen new songs since Wormwood, but had indicated in articles and interviews that there were some songs that they had recorded that they hadn't even performed live yet. As with the previous album, the band decided to try to record and then mix in live samples of their new songs from shows on June 10, 2005 and June 11, 2005 in order to create a meld between studio and live settings. The band performed these two special shows in Portland, Maine and recorded the audio for possible inclusion on the new album. For this reason, the band, usually taper-friendly, did not allow audio taping by the fans for these two shows.
We thought we were done [with the new 2006 album], but we're not. We're going back into the studio to adjust a few things, and we'll probably end up replacing a couple songs that we were originally going to put on there ... Sometimes it's hard to get enough time [between the album and touring]. What we really need is a second band.
In 2006, it was announced that the new album would be released in January 2007 and would be called The Conch.
From clips that were available at the MTV and VH1 websites, it was determined that one track, "Y Eaux Massa", would be audio from the aforementioned shows. During intermission at the June 11, 2005 show, Al Schnier led the crowd in a repeating chant of "be on my side, I'll be on your side," which is a line from the chorus of "Wind It Up," the previous track on the album. When the pre-release sale for the album began on November 20, 2006, a free five song live EP was offered with each purchase. The EP included over 65 minutes of music from the shows mentioned above.