Home > Articles > CD Reviews > Guster



Guster – Lost & Gone Forever
1999 - Hybrid/Sire – Pop

For their first major label release (their last album, Goldfly, was re-released by Hybrid/Sire in 1997), Boston-based trio Guster enlisted the skills of producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Peter Gabriel, Dave Matthews) and engineer John Siket (Phish, Sonic Youth). In addition to these talented collaborators, a number of other Guster fans volunteered to help out. Among these were bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson), keyboardist/thereminist Page McConnell (Phish), horn player Karl Denson (The Greyboy Allstars), a sextet of contest winners who were given the opportunity to whistle along with the band and a group of patrons from a bar near the recording studio. Together, this motley group of varying talent have composed an album of pop balance and bravery. Though there may not be a production tour de force like Goldfly’s “Airport Song,” the complex BeachBoy harmonies of “All The Way Up To Heaven” mixed with the Green Day crunch of “Barrel of a Gun,” the Townsend-ed vocals of “Either Way,” Levin’s prog-rock tendencies and the inventive use of everyday objects (e.g., a percussive typewriter and semi-musical barflys) take the best from the band’s own repertoire and musical influences to create something both comfortably familiar and excitingly new.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1999 M. S. Robinson, ARR

Guster - Goldfly
10 Song Album

Bursting on to the sonic scene with the driving "Great Escape," Guster's recently re-released album Goldfly quickly mellows into the insightfully deceptive "Demon" and the island chok of "Perfect" before revving back up to the strikingly-produced "Airport Song." Though the album has many high points, this first single is the highest. Drifting in like a distant storm, this cryptic offering erupts into a seething and impressively-arranged explosion. Combining the trio's competent guitar, bass and hand percussion with a variety of accents ranging from strings to screams (not to mention a ping-pong ball coda), "Airport" is a shut-up-and-crank-it song which grabs the listener by the ears and reveals itself further which each triumphant listening. Fortunately, the album does not give up after this early peak. Though many of the songs are ambiguous in terms of verse-chorus contiguity and overall meaning, the rich and simple vocal and instrumental layerings are clear and effective. Combining peppy sways and dances like "Perfect" and "Grin" with wild antic raves such as "Bury Me" and the gentle closer "Rocketship," Goldfly. leaves little doubt as to why the band has recently been signed to Sire Records and why they continue to sell-out venues in their New England home and beyond.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1998 M. S. Robinson, ARR


Live Review...


©2003-2005 Boston Beats






Boston Music, Boston Artist Interviews, Boston Bands