Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Band Of The Week: Guster

Got a bit caught up in job hunting the past few days, but as I was working on that I was listening to this week's Band Of The Week, Guster.

Guster is a band that was started in 1991 by three Tufts University students. The trio began playing acoustic-based poppy alternative rock around campus, set apart from the rest of the early 90's college radio scene by their use of non-traditional alternative rock instrumentation, most notably hand percussion instead of the usual drumkit set-up.

Eventually, Guster's use of additional instrumentation led to the band adding a fourth member, who as of last year was no longer with the band (due to a conflicting touring offer, not from any bad blood as far as I can tell) and was replaced. The new member is listed as a band member on WIkipedia, but I'm not sure if he is officially a member or just a touring member. The member he replaced was indeed considered a full member, but neither is seen performing with the band in the video for "Do You Love Me" (from the band's 2010 album, Easy Wonderful).

Guster were, as far as I know, the first band to adapt Virginia's tourism slogan for merchandise use, as they sell t-shirts and stickers proclaiming "Guster Is For Lovers," which I have since seen done by other bands, including Fall Out Boy.

I would recommend checking out either Easy Wonderful or their second album, Goldfly. Both are excellent. Goldfly features the hand percussion and acoustic guitars of their earlier days, while Easy Wonderful displays a more evolved version of the band, with more experimental instrumentation. The other albums are good, too, but these are the two I hold as being the best examples of their sound. You can also check out their Youtube channel and Vimeo page to watch videos and get a sense of what they sound like.

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