After 10 years, it feels like Guster is finally getting their due.
Living off their fan’s love of their music ignited through grassroots efforts, the Boston band has survived through the last decade of relentless touring, the rite of passage ala major label shifts, and has arrived with a grail beauty, Ganging Up On The Sun. We should all bow our heads in thanks, as this is one of the most solid albums of 2006.
The band has always worn a folk bandana of sorts, as is evident in “Jesus on the Radio” from the last album, Lost and Gone Forever. This time around, things get twangy with skip-along-songs “Manifest Destiny” and “The Captain.”
The east coast streets form a gritty platform for a hipster knee-jerk-shake on the highly danceable “The New Underground,” while the jangle of “Satellite” croons with it’s slickly chromed shine, vintage keys and classic bass undertones. But the all out rocker “The Beginning of the End” shows Guster’s more rambunctious side, while “Empire State” walks the tightrope of mixed emotions, tilting towards the bittersweetness of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” causing tears of glee and longing.
Their talent for irony appears on the single, “One Man Wrecking Machine,” a modern day man’s blues tale of young days gone by, dreams of getting into to the homecoming queen’s pants, all sung with a sleepy, honey glaze of wishes and desires for escape to simpler days.
Although “Ruby Falls” comes in as track number 7, it feels like it would be a fitting end to close their live show, with choruses that reach to the heavens and a vast sound (and horns) that could fill the most ornate of symphony halls, the likes of Pink Floyd’s “On The Run,” leaving their fans truly moved by what they’ve just experienced.
For the time being, the CD will have to do unless you’re in Minneapolis on July 7 for the Basilica Block Party or Milwaukee on July 8 for their Summerfest. If not, at least Ganging Up on the Sun proves to be one of the best consolation prizes around.
“One Man Wrecking Machine” video