According to interviews with the band, the album is named after an incident in which the band was removed from the cruise ship Queen Mary for breaking down the door of a ballroom and staging a violent séance.
The album achieved a score of 83 out of 100 on Metacritic, appeared in the Canadian edition of Time magazine's list of "Canada's Most Anticipated Indie Albums of the Year", and was shortlisted for the inaugural Polaris Music Prize in 2006.
The song "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" refers to Pretas of Buddhist mythology. The "Hungry Ghosts" – beings who, because of actions in their past lives, are always hungry and thirsty, but cannot eat or drink – are used by Krug as a reference to his generation.
The songs "Killing Armies" and "Modern World (Original Version)" were added to the iTunes Music Store release.
The songs "Fancy Claps", "Same Ghost Every Night", "I'll Believe in Anything", and "This Heart's On Fire" were not originally from an EP. All of the other songs, including "Killing Armies", came from the three previous EPs.
Krug has stated that "You Are a Runner" is "more about who I am in relation to my family, my father. That song is just about, well, I'm not going to get into great detail, but my father is a certain way, and there are days when it's obvious to me that I could turn out that way, and that's not a way I want to be, and it has a certain effect on the people who are close to him, and then I see the people that are close to me getting affected in the same way. That's it on a basic level, I sort of…I don't want to get into it beyond those vague terms. "Grounds for Divorce" is just about breaking up. The divorce is symbolic, it's not a real divorce."