No matter your feelings on droopy El Lay heartthrob Pete Yorn, give him credit for picking Modesto, California, oddballs Grandaddy to open for him: Sumday, the outfit's forthcoming third album, is about as far as you can get from Yorn's radio-ready pop-rock without risking the wrath of the droopy high-school kids adventurous enough for Yorn's Ramones cover and that's about it. Not that Sumday doesn't feature its share of pretty melodies and gratifying guitar fuzz; in fact, front man Jason Lytle shares much of Yorn's Neil Young fixation, an influence Lytle tries to disguise by pouring all kinds of sticky synthesizer goo over his traditionally crafted songs. But, as always, the disc finds Lytle in bearded cosmic philosopher mode, ruminating over the ramifications of vacant parking lots and marooned El Caminos with avuncular brio. Though Sumday isn't the full-tilt concept album 2000's The Sophtware Slump was, you get the impression that, unlike Yorn, Lytle wouldn't know the first thing to say to that pretty girl standing at the bar. I definitely did when we spoke last month about the CD. "I could really go into detail about the levels of sobriety and mayhem that made up the recording of it," Lytle threatened in an unassuming sigh that suggested he was serious. "It was just a big struggle."
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