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‘Last Place’ review: Grandaddy is back to the fore

Granddaddy's

Granddaddy's "Last Place" is the band's first album in 11 years. Photo Credit: 30th Century / Columbia Records

GRANDADDY

“Last Place”

THE GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE The long-awaited return of the indie-rockers finds them unexpectedly playing catch-up.

When Grandaddy first arrived on the scene 20 years ago, its clever, more literary twist on the indie rock of Pavement and Weezer was a welcome new development.

However, in less than a decade, even as frontman Jason Lytle developed his own distinctive vocal and lyrical style, the band was over, with only a handful of well-received albums, including the classic “The Sophtware Slump” from 2000.

Now, Grandaddy’s long-awaited return “Last Place” (30th Century/Columbia), is its first album in 11 years and it’s as well-crafted as ever.

“You were a dream and I was a concrete wall,” Lytle declares in the charming “Brush With the Wild,” as he laments once being the best and then falling from that perch. The lyrics, as well as the chugging, next-generation Weezer guitar riffs, show that Grandaddy is aware that their contemporaries have passed them by.

However, the six-minute, piano-driven epic “A Lost Machine” shows that the band has also done some evolving, especially when paired with the lovely closer, “Songbird Son.” It’s not clear whether “Last Place” will be Grandaddy’s last hurrah, but in any case it deserves a cheer.

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