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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 248 - 11/14/16

Way We Won't
30th Century Records / Columbia

As their web site tells: 'Even still the rockers are: Burtch, Dryden, Fairchild, Garcia and Lytle.' Grandaddy's back!

It's been ten years since Grandaddy put out their last album Just Like the Fambly Cat, which was launched in June 2006. Half a year in prior to said album's release, bandleader Jason Lytle broke the news that the band had split. 'Everybody knew, but we needed to make it formal, we needed to make it official. We needed to pay some respects to what we've done, just make it real.' (Jason Lytle, to NME, January 2006). Well, life went on, Lytle went on. Lytle then moved away from his California to rural Montana. To recover, to relax, and to find peace and harmony. He has given us two solo albums, Yours Truly, The Commuter (2009) and Dept. of Disappearance (2012). In-between there was even an album by a new band project (featuring Lytle, Grandaddy drummer Aaron Burtch, plus two of their friends from the band Earlimart, Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray) called Admiral Radley. I liked Lytle's solo albums. They held quite cool and held some nice, charming and catchy songs, but it's like a Grandaddy friend said: 'It's good, but it's not the real thing: it's not Grandaddy'. Anyway, shortly after Lytle's second solo album, Grandaddy reunited for some touring, playing some festivals. According to Lytle, it was all about performing for cash: 'Get in, rock out, get paid, get out', but the band found out that they should do some more touring, which eventually got them talking about doing another album. So, finally it happened! Their brand new album, their fifth, Last Place is due for a March release, but they have just put out a single (and a video) plus an additional song to shorten the wait.

Almost from the second "Way We Won't" sneaks out from the speakers, there's no question this is Grandaddy. It is a classic, trademark Grandaddy song. Catchy and swaying sad-eyed pop from Lytle and his players - with the warm and lazy vocals, perfectly fuzzy guitars, a steady beat, and the somewhat quirky, bubbling (analog) synthesizer sounds. A lazy pop song with an irresistible, simple and catchy chorus. "Clear Your History" is more of a plain B-side type of song, with its piano (and synth) and the dreamy voice of Lytle. This is sort of an 'in-between' song which you can find on every Grandaddy album: A track that cools things down a bit, like it's an 'intermission' type of song before the next pop-song comes pounding out. Overall, this is a fine taster from the album to come. It will probably be a solid one, as Lytle is an excellent songwriter. I guess he'd probably wish to stay at home all the time (in his hut, or in his cabin), just to write and create new songs on his piano. Stay home to write and record sweet little pop gems instead of travelling to promote his songs (and albums). Like he said to Drowned in Sound magazine in June 2013:

'I'm hoping for this dream scenario where I can make Grandaddy records every so often and not have all this messy stuff that goes along with it. I already did that and it's just not appealing to me anymore.' I'm really looking forward to Last Place, which will see the return of Jed from the brilliant The Sophtware Slump album as there's a new song called "Jed the 4th"!

Copyright © 2016 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Grandaddy articles/reviews: - an interview in Cologne, Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla, Just Like The Fambly Cassette, Just Like The Fambly Cat, Sumday, The Corner Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne, 8.5.04, The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 29.08.2000, The Sophtware Slump.

© 2016 Luna Kafé