Subliminal Plastic Motives

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Subliminal Plastic Motives
Self subliminal plastic motives front.jpg
Studio album by Self
Released October 1995
Recorded 1993-1995
Genre Rock
Length 43:01
Label Zoo/Spongebath
Producer Matt Mahaffey
Self chronology
Subliminal Plastic Motives
The Half-Baked Serenade
(1996)The Half-Baked Serenade1996
Singles from Subliminal Plastic Motives
  1. "Cannon"
    Released: 1995
  2. "So Low"
    Released: 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Pitchfork Media 8/10 stars link

Subliminal Plastic Motives is the debut album from alternative pop/rock band Self, and is perhaps their most well-known release.

The album was recorded entirely by Matt and his brother, Mike. The album found some modest success with MTV and flagship radio stations like KROQ-FM. Once the band was solidified, videos were made for "So Low" and "Cannon".

The album was released by Spongebath Records and was immediately picked up by Zoo Entertainment (now Volcano Entertainment). Critical reception was very positive, with Mahaffey receiving praise for his cut-and-paste, eclectic take on rock music, and garnering comparisons to artists such as Beck and Beastie Boys. Many of Self's fans hold the album in high regard and most of the songs are now fan favorites. While the album featured a hearty dose of what could best be described as "modern rock" songs, elements such as hip-hop beats, jazzy piano, dense, complex arrangements, and triggers/samples were dispersed throughout, hinting at Mahaffey's versatility as a composer and Self's future musical directions.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Self.

No. Title Length
1. "Borateen" 3:09
2. "Sophomore Jinx" 5:14
3. "Stewardess" 3:40
4. "So Low" 3:53
5. "Marathon Shirt" 4:19
6. "Lucid Anne" 3:06
7. "Cannon" 4:05
8. "Missed the Friction" 3:04
9. "Superstar" 2:35
10. "Mother Nature's Fault" 3:39
11. "Big Important Nothing" (Co-written with Seth Timbs) 2:47
12. "Lost My Senses" 3:30
Total length: 43:01


  • Vocals - Matt Mahaffey
  • Bass (Additional) - Don Kerce (tracks: 4,5,9,11,12)
  • Performer - Matt Mahaffey, Mike Mahaffey
  • Photography (Cover) - Brian Bottcher
  • Photography (Inlay) - Jim Harrington
  • Electric Piano (Outro) - Chris James (tracks: 4)
  • Saxophone (Alto) - Sam Baker (tracks: 5)
  • Trumpet - Brian Rogers (tracks: 5)
  • Other (Handclaps) - Seth Timbs (tracks: 6)


  • Producer - Self
  • Mastering - Bob Ludwig
  • Mixing - Jim Faraci, Self
  • Engineer - Jim Faraci
  • Engineer (Assistant) - Pete Martinez, Sean McLean
  • Sampler - Matt Mahaffey
  • Sampler (Texturing) - Brian Rogers (tracks: 2)