Grandaddy Under The Western Freeway
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Being from northern California, Grandaddy always gets compared to Pavement -- and rightly so, in some respects -- but this probably isn't the best way to start on the band. Some of the tracks on Under the Western Freeway are more in the Weezer vein ("Summer Here Kids," "A.M. 120"), and the few that are truly reminiscent of Pavement are more like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain's drawling "Range Life" than the angular guitar work more usual from Pavement. Comparisons aside, what's important is that Under the Western Freeway is a fairly brilliant album, combining a warm, earnest, and rustic feel with sometimes goofy experimentation (looped drums, bleeping keyboard hooks) -- and it's all very pleasant and friendly. And what's more, these guys can write a solid, catchy melody. A couple listens to tracks like "Nonphenomenal Lineage" and "Go Progress Chrome" make this all too clear.