I love Lambchop, and I love this album. For the sake of suspense and interest, I will hold back on revealing the rating until the end, it may not be as high as you expect after the opening statement. Anyway, this was released in 2000 originally and I have some sort of vinyl repress from 2014, which is fine with me, early Lambchop albums are damn expensive, in the £60-70 range, sometimes more, so repress suits me fine, although I would, of course, buy a first or second press if it was reasonably priced.
Grumpus is one of my favourite tracks, not just from this album, or from the Lambchop back catalogue, it is one of my favourite tracks of all tracks. Perhaps because I can identify with it, and often think of myself as Grumpus, it suits me. This is a live version, different venue but same tour I last saw them on:
Part of the process is sifting through the piles of shit
Tell us you don’t mind a bit from a different angle such
Power rarely deviates, in times of love, in times of hate
Another spring will come
The album sleeve is a painting by Wayne White, a childhood friend of Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner who had also provided cover art for the band’s albums Thriller, Aw Cmon and No You Cmon.
On release the album was really well received here in the UK. The NME loved it, calling it the bands greater album and comparing its “sheer sonorous delight” to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Uncut, had good things to say as well, calling it “one of the first great records of the new millennium.” It has since been included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which obviously, I’ve done.
Another great track off the album is Up With The People which has an actual official video ( and was remixed by Zero 7 at some point):
Yeah there comes a booming sound
It used to come from underground
Now it emanates
From a kind of welfare state
Of the soul
One of the things about the way Kurt Wagner delivers a song that I really like is that the lyrics are often rather sparse but he seems to be able to feed them to you syllable by syllable, making each word have a little bit of added weight.
A1 The Old Gold Shoe 6:20
A2 Grumpus 4:19
A3 You Masculine You 5:59
A4 Up With People 5:59
B1 Nashville Parent 5:38
B2 What Else Could It Be? 3:39
B3 The Distance From Her To There 4:20
B4 The Book I Haven’t Read 5:44
B5 The Petrified Florist 4:52
B6 The Butcher Boy 2:51