Monday, September 24, 2007

The Rentals: Daytrotter Sessions

The Rentals started out in the mid-90s as Weezer bassist Matt Sharp's side project. They had some commercial success with the song "Friends of P" at about the same time that Weezer's Pinkerton was being shunned by radio. Soon Matt left Weezer to concentrate on The Rentals, Rivers Cuomo covered the windows of his apartment with black construction paper, and I downloaded every Weezer B-side and side project known to man via Napster. Fast forward to September 2007; Matt and I almost get into a knife fight over the insane greatness of Pinkerton. He says Maladroit is just as good. Shank him, you say? I'm sorry, dear reader, but I can't blog alone.

The last time I heard Matt Sharp, he was playing solo shows that sounded like tiny sonic anti-depressants. Accompanied by nothing but a guitar and a slide projector, his audience sat on the floor and listened, cross-legged, like children at a school assembly. I wasn't sure what to expect when he announced that The Rentals were reuniting. All I could imagine was a heavily sedated version of the old band.

I'm really glad to hear the Daytrotter sessions that went up yesterday. The new songs don't sound sad at all. The Rentals just sound grown up. The Moog is still there, but they don't lean so heavily on the kitschy synth sound anymore. And the old favorite "Sweetness and Tenderness" sounds even more optimistic than the original. Plus it's always great to hear Rachel Haden's voice again.

Listen to the Daytrotter Sessions
Buy the new EP The Last Little Life

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