Guster – Goldfly

1997, Jesuit High School Senior Year.  This was a very seminal year for me musically.  There was a heavy rotation in the 5 disc changer of Bad Religion, Faith No More, Weezer, 311 (eek), Dave Matthews Band (ugh) and Ben Folds Five.  Every morning I would drive your Uncle Mitchell and your “Uncle” Rene to school in my (and subsequently Mitchell’s) 1992 Honda Accord, ERV, which was an absolute lemon P.O.S.  As the elder statesman and driver, I commanded the music selection.  However, there would be the extremely rare occasion when I would let one of the neophytes choose the disc.  Mitchell was typically more focused on burning as many heaters as possible before getting to school, but one morning he brought me this album and in a weakened moment of benevolence, I agreed to play it.  He instructed me to first play track 4 (“Airport Song”) and then track 2 (“Demons”).  All it took were those two listens and I was hooked.  Goldfly was the gateway to a beautiful relationship for me with a band that lasts to this day.  It also remains a favorite of Mitchell’s and even Rene enjoys the occasional jam from the Tufts trio.  

Goldfly is a raw, dark, stripped down album.  However, I don’t think it’s simple at all.  There are some beautiful harmonies and guitar interplay from Ryan and Adam that seem to blend wonderfully with Brian’s masterful hand percussion (Bongos!).  Personally, it’s the contemplative lyrics supporting the emotive darkness that drew me in so quickly.  Adolescence is a difficult time for everyone.  You will have so many highs but there will be many accompanying lows.  And that’s completely normal.  This album was a revelation to me.  Our high school had just endured a barrage of suicides in record numbers.  My whole life I had felt inner sadness that I used humor and sarcasm to mask.  But around this time and through music, I started to realize that’s just who I am and so many others are the same way.  I’m mercurial at baseline which I started to realize is a strength because the highs are higher and the lows are easily managed.  Not a bad place to be.  The album ends with “Rocketship” that seems to encapsulate all of that emotion (suicide, emptiness, sadness) yet somehow…is uplifting.  That’s the oxymoronic power of this album.  To understand Guster, you would probably have to see them live.  It’s an amazing, energetic and playfully funny show.  I’ve seen them a handful of times and left exalted each time.  Guster is for lovers.  

If you ever feel incredibly low, always know, it will get better.  It will pass.  And I’m always here to talk to you about anything. And if I’m not, someone will listen.  Talk it out.

Favorite Tracks: “Great Escape” “Demons” “Airport Song (ping pong ball percussion ftw)” “Medicine” “Bury Me (incredible Bongos work by the ‘ThunderGod’ you’ll think it’s Dub)” “Rocketship”

Pressing: Original. Nettwerk Music Group – 0 6700 31128 1 9. 2017