Just Like the Fambly Cat

For a band that obsesses so much about the inexorable march of technology, Modesto's Grandaddy sure has managed to arrest any evolution of its aesthetic since perfecting the formula on 2000's The Sophtware Slump. That album offered gently fuzzy guitars, puckish synths, verse-chorus-verse structures, and Jason Lytle's warm vocals oiling the cosmic jalopy like so much KY Jelly. Redelivered on Sumday, and now laid to rest on Just Like the Fambly Cat (the band announced its dissolution in January), it's a sound that's all Grandaddy's own, yet one the band never really improved upon. And so on Fambly Cat we get another helping: a loping, reverberated "Where I'm Anymore"; the soaring, psychedelic "The Animal World"; the vaporously aching "This Is Where It Always Starts" — y'up, this is still Grandaddy. "I don't wanna be a part of all the quality that falls apart these days," bleats Lytle on "Elevate Myself," making his planned relocation to Montana seem more sad than triumphant. Since Slump's masterstroke, technology has metastasized most depressingly. Grandaddy's will to point out the floating plastic bags that flit amid the frenzy could use something of a stylistic update, but it's too bad it has to disappear entirely.

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