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Grandpas Ghost | Tumble Love Version | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop
The Tumble/Love Version (Upland/O & O)
by Craig Regala
No idea what to expect upon opening the package - subtitled "(The Tumble/Love Version)," those being the names of the CDs in the two-disc set. What I hear is exploded country/acid/space rock. Drag City might've approached this in the mid-'90s, had Grandpa's Ghost been around. Take the initial squalling compact sprawl of Meat Puppets' first LP and give it a loop-de-loop aura of woozy tempos going from a goal-oriented meander to "hey, a Dinosaur Jr. fan could come to grips with some of this," and add a guy who occasionally plays vacuum cleaner as well as steel wool spider web long-form guitar solos, and you'd be in the same room as this. Well, it'd be a big room, but a good one to hang out a shingle if you're a band wanting to get outside of the current rock world but resolutely know you belong in it.
What makes it good instead of just interesting is the use of distortion, vacuum cleaning, fuzz/space, and exploratory "free rock" to open up the music and connect with songs rather than just make a buncha neat noise. I don't know any popular compare/contrast bands that have sold in the five figures, but here's hoping they're out there.
There are some units tangential to the "stoner rock" world that dip into this post-'70s wind-tunnel guitar psychedelia, but without the same tumbleweed roots. So anyone with the patience to listen to a boot of the Dead playing "Dark Star" for an hour, or Mike Gunn or Magic Hour deciding to cover a couple Red Red Meat tunes the way Silly Putty covers pictures and stretches them into new fantastic images, Jesus, sign right up! I'd mention the covers, but it won't help you understand. It may impede knowledge by false association. I'll also reference the "out" moments of the Wolverton Brothers, especially when they get into those half-hour jams using "A Horse With No Name" the same Coltrane way used "My Favorite Things."
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