Features | Awards

Most Undeserving Of Being Tied Dead-Last on our Staff's Year-End List, Topping Shit Like Weezer by Virtue of Alphabetical Order Only

By Scott Reid | 21 December 2008

Farms in Trouble
The Gas Station Soundtrack
(Activities; 2008)

I’ll prove this with three songs, but first: what a fucking travesty. Here’s this young and completely unknown band, brave channellers of golden-era Guided by Voices and Anticon and everything I loved about the Unicorns (for that one album before they broke up, suddenly, and were replaced by Islands [ugh] and though I’m not sure what Alden’s doing now, which is telling, it has to be better than Islands), their debut the rarest of rare, so much so that I have to go back to Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone (2003) and Alien Lanes (1995) to contextualize my excitement: a sprawling, inspired, unpredictable four-track Statement that sloppily embraces the absurdity of making this sort of lo-fi tongue-in-cheek music in the first place. And yet, cruelly, my sole vote for this record landed it dead last—nay, even worse, tied for dead last—on this site’s complete year-end list, caverns below what any CMG reader will ever see. We’re talking 808s & Heartbreak territory here; Weezer territory. These are some foul depths indeed, and for a record that somehow lives up to the band’s ridiculous self-description—“a kaleidoscopic patchwork of songscraps and fidelities…from shimmering popfolk psychedelia to clattering basement caveman rock…from Beefheart to the White Album”—that’s cold.

As promised: