On this, their fifth studio album, the members of Guster appear to have followed the counsel of baseball sage Yogi Berra, who famously told advice seekers, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Ganging Up on the Sun is awash in the sunny harmonies that've been part and parcel of virtually everything Guster have done in the past, but they're layered over melodies that are more conventionally "rockist," a change that's likely to draw plenty of new converts. The muscled-up sound is most palpable on songs like "Manifest Destiny" and the angular "The New Underground," both bristling with sharp electric guitar lines far removed from the campfire sing-alongs of the band's earlier days. Part of that sea change can be attributed to the integration of multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia -- formerly a touring sideman -- who thickens the sound of songs like "C'mon," which has a sweet 'n' sour tang reminiscent of Lindsey Buckingham's contributions to Tusk. Drummer Brian Rosenworcel's change of weaponry is also worth pointing out. He's gradually been weaning himself off the array of hand percussion that he once used to hold down Guster's bottom end, an evolution that's pretty complete, judging by the full-kit pulse that propels songs like the forcefully infectious single "One Man Wrecking Machine." That last title may sound like a prelude to an ass-kicking, but Guster haven't exactly morphed into bare-knuckle brawlers. No, they've simply put a little meat on the bones of their compositions; it's a look that suits them well.
Ganging Up on the Sun 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
it gradually grows on you. I'd only heard the song "Amsterdam" a couple of years back, but I liked it. So I picked up this disc, gave it a listen and thought "Not Bad..." then a few days later I played it again and the next thing you know it's in my CD player for 3 days straight.