Saturday, December 23, 2006

Whoa! Guster? For real?

I thought Guster was one of those pseudo hippie bands. You know, the kind that frat boys in their A&F wear eat up while drinking keg beer and hitting on sorority chicks. And, I think Guster WAS one of those bands a few years ago. Hell, maybe they still are, but the other day I was driving to work when I heard this song on the radio. I had never heard it before so I played the game of, "Come on Chip, figure out who it is before the DJ tells you." I'm usually pretty good at this game because I read so many magazines and websites that I think that I know what a band sounds like before I even hear them.

Anyway, my first thought when I heard this song "Satellite" was that it was Death Cab for Cutie ... but it didn't sound like Ben singing. Then I thought, "Oh, it must be Band of Horses" cuz all the blogger kids are putting that CD in their top 5 of 2006 and this song certainly had that "sound" to it (at least to me). Somebody on the message board said that Band of Horses is nothing more than Air Supply of 2006 and when I heard the mild mannered vocals in "Satellite" I could see how somebody might say that this song was a modern version of an Air Supply song.

So when the DJ said "That was Guster" I was shocked. Were all my ideas about this band dead wrong? I did a quick search for an MP3 of this song when I got to work and I found a live version of it somewhere. The blogger who posted it said something like "These guys have always sounded like Rusted Root and Ben Folds Five to me" and ... bam ... there is was. I wasn't crazy. These guys DO have that "sound" that drives me crazy and makes me think that some people have no taste in music. And yet I couldn't get "Satellite" out of my head. I really, really like it so I'm conflicted. What exactly does the 2006 version of Guster sound like? Are they a faux hippie/frat band or have they gone off in a different direction? I'm inclined to believe that they've graduated from the college rock sound because I noticed that in the last year they've had people like Rogue Wave and Mason Jennings open for them - two very respected artists that I'm not ashamed to admit liking.

I'm planning on checking out the latest Guster CD in it's entirety and I'm hoping that the rest of the songs follow the lead of "Satellite".

Anybody have any thoughts about Guster? Leave me a comment.