For Grandaddy, the fat lady has sung and this is what some would call the swan song. When all is said and done, Just Like The Fambly Cat is what is going to be left for all of us to remember Grandaddy by. No tour, no sad Dear John letters, just you, the cat, some abandoned trucker hats and me.
While I have considered myself a fan of theirs since I first heard "Summer Here Kids" and "A.M. 180" on Under The Western Freeway, it was actually The Sophtware Slump that suckered me into the dreamy pop and sometimes slurred vocals. Now, almost six years later my obsession has diminished into enjoyment, but I still remain a fan. I was curious about the new album when I saw it land on my desk, as their EP that came out last year fit the formula that Grandaddy knows all too well. That is to say that if its not broken, don't fuck with it. Granted, it has worked for them in the past, but like all good things, it too must come to an end.
The best thing about this album is the way that Grandaddy creates and performs these songs so effortlessly. That is a sign of a talented band. On the opening track, "What Happened," kids evilly chant over a piano "What happened to the fambly cat?" Skip past this one and don't judge too quickly least ye be judged...or something like that. Anyway, the meat of the record comes later on. "Jeez Louise" arrives just soon enough to save the day and kicks out the jams in an old school Grandaddy way. Head bobbing drum beats and a killer fuzzed out bass line make this song what it is, and reminds me why I once was obsessed with Grandaddy so long ago. Not to harp on the record being the last one, but I do find the ballad "Summer...It's Gone" very interesting. Is this a comment to put closure on their band, or is it saying they have come full circle since "Summer Here Kids" was on their first album? Maybe I am looking into it too much, but I would like to think that the two are related in some capacity. While songs like that may look to the past, there are some that look longingly into the future, such as pop gems "Campershell Dreams" and "Elevate Myself," which Jason Lytle performed at Other Music a few weeks ago.
While most breakups end on a sour note leaving one party to hate the other, I can't help but look back fondly on the time with Grandaddy. I am not bitter that they are gone. I am not left weeping. I am just left with a record that captures the best elements of Grandaddy past and wondering who gets custody of this damn cat.
Listen to Grandaddy