Like a janitor carting off hunks of the obsolete office equipment he's always rhapsodizing over, bearded central-Californian techno-mystic Jason Lytle has finally pulled the plug on Grandaddy, the shaggy dream-pop combo he's led since 1992. Just Like the Fambly Cat, the band's fourth full-length, will be its last. As final statements go, it's a bit underwhelming: Lytle's tunecraft is in fine form throughout, with big choruses providing the emotional payoff his wistful verses set up perfectly, and his bandmates have gotten nearly as good at laying into a groove as the guys who back up Lytle's hero Neil Young. "Where I'm Anymore," a mellow disco-blues number capped by Lytle's impressive meowing, is the chance to shine no one knew they were waiting for.
But most of Fambly Cat lacks the sense of wonder you used to get from a Grandaddy record--the feeling that this guy was never gonna leave shit-ass Modesto because all he had to do for excitement was look at the sky, or beneath a rock, or up a tree. Maybe it's Lytle's sly parting comment on the inevitability of losing your inspiration in a world unhealthily obsessed with "progress." Or maybe the dude just got bored.