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New Guster - Ganging Up On The Sun - Thoughts?

   Discussion: New Guster - Ganging Up On The Sun - Thoughts?
John J. Ryan · 18 years, 2 months ago
Haven't had a chance to hear this yet. Any thought from the peanut gallery? I know a lot of you are big Guster fans.
Joseph Camann · 18 years, 2 months ago
A friend of mine said this, and I thought it pretty accurate:

i received my new guster cd yesterday and i'm almost all the way through at this point. i'm up to empire state as it would have it, and i'm quite impressed. the new cd is grown up! seriously, as much as we thought it would never happen, these cats have become adult musicians finally, experimenting with sound and musical theory. the chord structure is wicked throughout everything, and while some of the songs are definitely "radio-ready", some of them are a bit odd.

songs like ruby falls, empire state, c'mon and manifest destiny remind me of distinctly beach boys-esqe harmony, block chording with two definite different vocal qualities (adam sings with a smooth chest voice, ryan with a distinctly nasal). the addition of joe back before kit was a good move, in my opinion, as it's moved them towards a larger use of different progressions and chord qualities (gone are the days I ii V iii IV V7 I, entering are the days of rampant suspension use and smoothly transitioning modulation) and the addition of extra instrumentation (even the original members branching into new instruments themselves, like ryan on keys on menifest destiny).

there is a distinct lack of the hook that gets you into guster though. restated, i don't think we're going to be gaining any fans with this one. parachute, goldfly and lost and gone forever have a power to drag people in. old fans love for guster comes from the mona lisas, happy frappys, great escapes, airport songs, so longs, center of attentions, and happiers, not from the dianes, red oyster cults, amsterdams, one man wrecking machines and satelites. while we love them all the same for their new music, we were hooked by the simplicity of a guitar, a bass and a crazy ass drummer who plays EVERYTHING with his hands. does that sound indie snob? it's meant to.

all in all though, it's a good album. it's more serious and grown up, it has its hook songs (hang on may be entering into the realm of favorite guster songs), and for what it's worth, i can listen to this one and not feel depressed after it (gone are the lyrics about cults, drug addiction and depression, though i am getting a distinct yearning for the past vibe).

sarah's rating?
8/10 for the old fans
6/10 for the new ones
you won't fall in love with them with this record, but you'll love the record if you already love them.
Josh Woodward · 18 years, 1 month ago
I just got done with my first listen, and...

I love it. It's very different from anything they've done before. It's dark, it's electric, it's experimental, it's intense. If you love Guster for the hooks and boppy acoustic singalongs, you'll really hate this CD.

"Keep It Together" seems like their first attempt at sticking their pinkie toe in the shallow end of this sound. It had some great moments, but felt long, disjointed, and uneven. They took a running dive into the deep end with this one.

I think I have a soft spot for this kind of thing because the batch of songs I'm working on for my next CD is going in a similar direction. Now I can watch all the scathing reviews roll in and just stop making music myself. :P

I'll post more once this sinks in after a few listens...
ExMachina · 18 years, 1 month ago

Wow, new Guster is out allready? I guess I forgot all about it - it is at the top of my list of albums to get.


[[[[[[[[[[ [b] ExMachina[/b] ]]]]]]]]]]
[[[[[[[[[[ Listening to: Hawthorne Heights - Saying Sorry
[[[[[[[[[[ ]]]]]]]]]]
nate... · 18 years, 1 month ago

Overview? So far I'm really enjoying it. I'll agree with the sentiment, though, that it definitely does not have the hooks that brought me into enjoying guster the first time around. I don't think this will make them any new fans.
It's much darker, musically, than a lot of their other stuff.
Personally, though, I love it. :)

Song by song then?

Lightning Rod really does set the mood well for the album.

Satellite is very well put together, and has a great feel to it.

Manifest Destiny I hate the beginning of... though I like the song itself. That'll probably lead to me skipping it a lot, unfortunately. (I can definitely see the beach boys comparison.)

One Man Wrecking Machine... I loove this track. Start to finish. Very simple

The Captain is a really good track as well.. got a great sound to it, and the ending is great.

The New Underground Every time this starts, I think I'm about to listen to A Million Ways by OK Go. :D Good track though.

Ruby Falls I like the song a lot... but, they could have just faded it out after about 4:30. The overly long and pointless ending is kinda... not necessary. I know you wanted an excuse to use more horns, but that's a major stretch. Like some HP books, it needs an editor. :)

C'Mon is a fun poppy song. I like it.

Empire State I don't really have any feeling on one way or the other yet... except that it makes me think it's the end of the album.

Dear Valentine is one I'm kinda indifferent to still.

The Beginning Of The End I'm really liking. A little heavier... which is kinda cool

Hang On is another indifferent one.
Josh Woodward Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
> Ruby Falls I like the song a lot... but, they could have just faded it out after about 4:30.

Agreed. I saw a superlong track on the playlist and got excited, but the horn solo is the low point of the CD for me.
Sab · 18 years, 1 month ago
After getting the Guster mailer yesterday and hearing that the new album debuted at 24 on the Billboard Charts...yadda, yadda, I feel like perhaps I'm the only one who isn't all that happy with the new endeavor. I mean, granted it has it's moments. One can't help but like tracks like One Man Wreaking Machine. But I dunno...there's just something vabout the new "grown up" sound that doesn't sit well with me somehow...could it be that I simply fear change? Then again, I've purchased a few much anticipated albums that haven't floated my boat either...Danny Michel's Valhalla for one! Maybe I'm just on a musical losing streak...who knows? I'll have to give GUOTS another try and see what happens. I am known for having albums grow on me...but it this case I'm just not sure. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to hear the songs live one of these days. That's sure to change my mind! Now if we could just get a Toronto tour date.--It could happen!
Paul D. Beasi Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
No, I wasn't very fond of it either. To me, their sound used to be unique. Now, they sound like a bunch of other faceless bands. I honestly don't mind radical changes in a band's sound (or I wouldn't like Fruvous) but I still need something to grab me. This doesn't grab me.
lawrence Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
oh geez, don't tell me the got rid of the hand drums and the acoustic guitars?
Josh Woodward Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
I've heard Slayer albums with more acoustic guitars and hand drums than this one. ;-)
nate... Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
Slayer: Unplugged was one of my favs, actually.

nate... Back · 18 years, 1 month ago
I will agree that it doesn't really have a hook. *nods*

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