Grandaddy Just Like the Fambly Cat

"Yet there are some of us who grieve/To go behind;/Staunch strenuous souls who scarce believe/Their fires declined.” This was Thomas Hardy towards the end of the 19th century, although I’m convinced he was writing, presciently, about the Rolling Stones of today. Similarly, the words apply to Grandaddy, a band who’ve charted a more contracted but equally apparent decline, before announcing their retirement with Just Like the Fambly Cat. Culminating with last year’s Excerpts from the Diary of Todd Zilla EP, Grandaddy sounded increasingly like their name. Even the new song titles (and their ellipses) hint at artistic fatigue: "What Happened…,” "Rear View Mirror,” "Summer…It’s Gone.” We still get synth flourishes over acoustic foundations, but there’s more wheeze and less brio here than on The Sophtware Slump. That album would be difficult for any band to follow up, perhaps contributing to the sensation that, six years later, Fambly Cat sounds like a sibilant fart after an epic feast. (V2)