Grandaddy
Last Place


3.6
great

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
March 5th, 2017 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I just moved here, and I don't wanna live here anymore.

Hearing Jason Lytle's wonderfully distracted, broken voice is something of a nostalgia trip in itself. The most easily reached-for comparison is the technically awful but emotionally brilliant falsetto of Wayne Coyne; but these days Coyne dwells almost exclusively in nonsense or stoner bro "dudeā€¦ what if"s. The resonance of Lytle's vocals skews closer to that of early Isaac Brock or even Doug Martsch: a human personification of the flat landscapes, disappointment and sheer existential boredom of the American lonesome crowded west. But Grandaddy largely eschew messy guitars and screams for a piano-driven gentleness, and Last Place is no different: more an exasperated sigh than a shout of desperation.

The song most of interest to old-school fans is surely "Jed the 4th", a new installment in what has to be the saddest series of songs ever written about a machine. The Jed quadrilogy has functioned almost like a sci-fi update of the Weakerthans' Virtute pieces; the contrast of Jed 3's inherent remoteness with the poignancy of the increasing depression in his poems is an obvious microcosm of Grandaddy's strengths as a whole. This introduction to his son, the titular Jed the 4th is hardly the strongest entry in the series, although it does give us one of its finest moments when Lytle goes full meta. "You know it's all a metaphor, for being drunk and on the floor", with "metaphor" pitch-shifted just in case you missed what they're getting at here. All in all, it's a fitting end(?) to one of indie rock's most beloved characters. This wonky electronic ballad is not in bad company on Last Place either; "That's What You Get for Gettin' Outta Bed" and "Songbird Son" strip down the music to bare essentials to genuinely devastating effect, with the latter functioning as a perfect closer for a band that ultimately did write about people who were sad a lot of the time.

Not to give the impression that it's all dour existentialism and sadness here. Openers "Way We Won't" and "Brush With the Wild" are appropriate slices of pure 90s nostalgia, with sloppy guitars and a decent helping of fuzz, while "Evermore" flirts with brash electronics to, well, not bad results. Decidedly Soft Bulletin-esque epic "The Lost Machine" is the richest and most complete musical piece, with layers of crashing drums and cavernous guitars providing a vivid landscape. There's nothing here that truly scrapes the stars like The Sophtware Slump's bookends did, but maybe that's the point; Last Place is a fittingly contented throwback/possible farewell. Grandaddy always excelled at using their stargazing themes as a way to worm into the issues that hit closest to home, their obsession with machines and robots and home appliances always just a surface level masking their real interest in what makes humans tick, especially when that ticking is arrhythmic or off kilter. Maybe this is the start of some dusty wave of 90s indie rock nostalgia, more likely just a surprising last lap from one of the decade's most well-buried treasures. Either way, don't move house without it.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2017


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Songbird Son is easily the best song here imo

Digging: mathew lee cothran - Judas Hung Himself in America

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2017


38490 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I really like everything from I Don't Wanna Live Here Anymore till the closer honestly, great run of songs

Digging: A Lot Like Birds - DIVISI

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2017


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only spun this three times, the rest of the album is all cute enough in that typical Grandaddy way but the closer was the only moment that stopped me dead

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2017


12987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The dreamy 'blue blue blue' vox section towards the end of 'The Boat is in the Barn' was my second favourite moment

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2017


38490 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

I found the Boat song a little bit too heavy handed but I don't remember that bit off the top of my head. as usual the sad songs are pretty much the best

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 5th 2017


23580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The cover reminds me of Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. I have a feeling I'd like this.



Great review as always Rowbro.

Digging: Blink-182 - California (Deluxe Edition)

tastepolice
March 5th 2017


145 Comments


the cover reminds me of grinderman is this like grinderman

Yotimi
March 5th 2017


7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excited for this. Been jamming a lot of grandaddy lately

SandwichBubble
March 5th 2017


2330 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't expect much from this, but it's actually pretty good! Always nice to be surprised.

Digging: Martin Rev - Demolition 9

Egarran
March 5th 2017


3007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really resonate with Lytle and Grandaddy's beautiful melancholy (perfectly encapsulated in the one-liner: "That's what you get - for getting out of bed").



But this could have been released right after Sophtware. I wish I could hear that this band has matured lyrically and musically. But they haven't really.





Gyromania
March 5th 2017


22022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only heard lost machine and songbird son but I liked both

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 5th 2017


23580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listening now. Still reminds me of early JEW as of track 1.



Edit: Also hearing the Flaming Lips/Modest Mouse in small doses, rec'd section is accurate.

Gyromania
March 5th 2017


22022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just heard the first two tracks too. This is pretty great so far

Egarran
March 5th 2017


3007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I had a year high on



Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs

Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin

Sparklehorse - Good Morning Spider



and Grandaddy. USA lo-fi(?) peaked right there for me.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 5th 2017


23580 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I enjoyed this. Nothing really made my jaw drop at any point, but it was solid from start to finish. Could see myself enjoying this more with added listens and familiarity with the lyrics.

deathschool
March 5th 2017


21627 Comments


Great review, Rowbro. You've got my vote for staff. Oh wait. : D

StarlessCore
March 5th 2017


4840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

jed 4 was a neat throwback

Digging: Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti

wacknizzle
March 5th 2017


14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Evermore is pretty much the highlight for me, but the whole thing is pretty solid

Digging: Dakhma - Suna Kulto

JigglyPDiddy
March 5th 2017


3105 Comments


http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/183/101/035.gif

Digging: Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury

StarlessCore
March 5th 2017


4840 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

evermore, jed and the closer are awesome.



rest ranges from terrible to mediocre imo



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