Excerpts represents a wander into the field of revolution rather than evolution.
It’s only natural for bands to change. Some adapt, some develop naturally, but recorded as a between-album EP that’s seven songs long, Excerpts represents a wander into the field of revolution rather than evolution.
Recorded as a near one-man job at frontman Jason Lytle’s home in California, the opening sounds give nothing away. The start of ‘Pull The Curtains’ is their typical acoustic strum, with Jason warbling ‘Pull the curtains on the day/Sometimes it’s the only way’. Nothing to see here, guv. But there’s a second-long gap – and the new Grandaddy stumble forward. The tempo’s brought right up, the electric guitar’s plugged in and almost reminiscent of the Sex Pistols. Meanwhile Jason’s been playing with sound effects on his keyboard and throwing anything he finds into the melting pot, leaving their former single ‘AM 180’ as a speck in the distance. What an opening gambit.
From thereon in, they’re all over the place, one minute OD-ing on Eighties synth and shouty vocals (‘Florida’), the next withdrawing to the comfort of Mercury Rev-style sounds (‘A Valley Son (Sparing)’). But the only odd thing is that it works, because they’ve just extended their territory rather than stepped over it. You’d never think that Grandaddy could come out with a song called ‘Fuck The Valley Fudge’, sung with a doe-eyed innocence, but with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour and a commitment to the subject matter (shopping malls: bad), it’s hard to imagine they were any other way.
It’s always the quiet ones, eh?
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