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Heralded as lo-fi geniuses for quite some time, Modesto, California's Grandaddy are an intriguing, almost-famous pop rock band. Self-recorded and produced, their singer/ringleader Jason Lytle mixes and mashes keyboards, found sounds and traditional rock instruments into densely layered, textured pop songs. The steady progression of their eclectic and peculiar sound into a streamlined and perfectly orchestrated one seems the product of a great deal of work -- not just a tortured artist's brilliance. The music has a relaxed, wry sort of bittersweetness engrained in it (see: Pavement), but Grandaddy up the ante a bit, throwing wild oscillations and the sound of helicopters into ingratiating pop songs alongside the expected bass, guitars and drums. Huge underground success in Europe changed the rules for Grandaddy, allowing them new studio effects and gadgetry exemplified by the glorious, twisted sounds on 2003's Sumday. Over time, their individual stamp of retro-futuristic indie pop has earned them more than a few diehard fans and even a few copycat bands. 2005's The Diary of Todd Zilla continued their skyward trajectory, though with 2006's Just Like the Fambly Cat, Lytle announced the band had ended, though he plans on making music on his own.
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