Jason Lytle lamented a few months before the release of their final album “Just Like The Fambly Cat” (2006) that he was disillusioned by this whole “making music for no money and little recognition” thing and that he was disbanding Grandaddy. It turns out, unfortunately, that this last album turned out to be one of their best musically and was extremely well received by both fans and critics alike.
A few months later he decided to move to Montana and hibernate until his muse returned, which it apparently did, during the start of 2008.
From 1996-2006 this band put out two pretty good albums (“A Pretty Mess By This One Band” & “Sumday”), two pretty terrific albums (“Under The Western Freeway” & “Just Like The Fambly Cat”) and one stone cold modern classic in 2000’s “The Sophtware Slump”, a turn of the century space rock masterpiece some were comparing to Radiohead’s “OK Computer”.
So why did this terrific lo-fi band from Modesto (living in an armpit like Modesto couldn’t have helped!) just curl up and die, why weren’t they respected while they were around?
Some folks blame that “other” lo-fi band, Pavement, also from Northern California (Stockton---not much better than Modesto, I‘m afraid). Grandaddy were always getting compared to Pavement but were never afforded the same amount of street cred by the music critics that the former band had from album one.
A pity, really, because although Pavement was an incredible band I think Grandaddy were almost…at least just as good. I know I’m gonna get slammed for this but I don’t think that Pavement put out anything as brilliant as “The Sophtware Slump”. Only “Crooked Rain Crooked Rain” comes close, being the magnificent disc that it is, but it falls slightly short of “Sophtware” due to some obvious filler. I always loved Pavement, but at times it seemed they worked a little too hard to obtain that sloppy sound.
Jason Lytle has just completed his first solo project (as yet untitled, I believe), due for release sometime this year, and to get you primed here’s a video from “The Sophtware Slump” entitled THE CRYSTAL LAKE...
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