Sunday, April 18, 2010

Album Review: Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement

After ten years of silence and a career that includes five albums and a legacy of sonic and interpersonal discord, Pavement has just released Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement, a 23 song greatest hits album pulled from a cross-section of their catalog. The collection is far from a typical greatest hits album, partially because the band had no real conventional hits to speak of but it allows the listener to follow the band from their cassette tape beginnings to their abrupt ending while appreciating their special brand of melodic disharmony and witty sarcasm.

While the song choices draw from across their tenure they are heavily pulled from the band’s two initial and most notable albums: Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain including classic songs such as: "Here," "Range Life," "Heaven Is a Truck," and their closest brush to a hit "Cut Your Hair." All the well-known Pavement songs are included but what’s great about the band has never been their popular appeal, it’s their unique grungy and sometimes awkward garage sound paired with abstract poetic lyrics pulled from inspirations in classic rock, punk, and country and it’s well represented on the album.

The collection mixes in terrific tracks like: "Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)" from the Watery, Domestic EP and the Slay Tracks song "Box Elder" which helps show why the band’s been so influential with their smart melodies and bright raw feel. The album is the kind of thing that should be issued to everyone entering art school and is without question a must have for any fan of low-fi indie rock.

Now, to get my hands on a pair of tickets to their live show this summer...

For: Short & Sweet NYC

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