A thumbscrew is a torture device. The Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow wrote this song about his landlord, who was giving him problems. In the song, Yow envisions torturing this guy:We will get the thumbscrews
And put him in his place
Leave a great big hole
Where he used to keep his face
In our interview with Yow
, he explained that the landlord started out "a really, really swell guy," but he quickly turned on him. "He went from being kind of a friend to an enemy," Yow said. "That song and 'Good Riddance,' which was also on the same record, were written about that guy."