Grandaddy: Last Place review –Alt-rockers amend their sonic palette

(30th Century Records)

Way We Won’t, the opening track on Grandaddy’s fifth album, has a chugging, Weezer-style fuzz guitar and faux-naive riff that recall their best-known song – AM 180, from their debut album Under the Western Freeway, now 20 years old. But Grandaddy have broadened their sonic palette. Last Place is more sophisticated and less self-consciously wacky than some of the Californians’ previous releases, and better for it.

Slower songs This Is the Part and The Boat Is In employ a string section and reach a Mercury Rev-like psychedelic reverie. The melody of I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore is instantly memorable. That’s What You Get for Gettin’ Outta Bed starts off as a softly strummed minor-key lament but finishes as a swoonsome remodelling of the Beatles’ It’s Only Love. And Check Injin shows Grandaddy’s alt-rock credentials to be in impeccable order, with its unpredictable lurches in direction and pace worthy of the Pixies.

  • This review was amended on Monday 6 March to remove an incorrect reference to Danger Mouse having produced the album. Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle produced it.


Jon Dennis

The GuardianTramp

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