20 Watts

20 Watts’ Best of 2009 #2: Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest by jluposello
December 31, 2009, 10:23 am
Filed under: Best of 2009 Albums | Tags: , ,
Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest is #2 on our Best of 2009 List

Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest is #2 on our Best of 2009 List

PREVIEW: VISIT Grizzly Bear’s MySpace
TOP TRACK: Two Weeks

Few indie bands have managed to do what Grizzly Bear did this year. In just twelve songs they catapulted themselves from an obscure critical soft spot to independent music legends. Time and again, pundits have harped on about what makes Veckatimest such a triumph, and they’ve all been right. It’s Grizzly Bear’s world; we just live in it.

Accessible and technically masterful, Veckatimest maintains a consistent, almost-understated emphasis on melody. The closing guitars on “Southern Point” that call to mind DeVotchKa’s “You Love Me” and the harmonizing that draws listeners into “Fine for Now” serve to nuance an effort showered in clanging cymbals and coordinated bass beats.

And the percussion is beautiful on this record – both in terms of their production and placement within the individual songs. Would “While You Wait for the Others” be nearly as effective a ballad – or even a song – if the harmonic vocals weren’t complemented by torrential drum fills? Moreover, was anyone surprised when Veckatimest officially dropped at why Grizzly Bear were peeved at the low quality of the early leaked version of the album? The album’s multifarious percussive meandering was what had suffered.

What’s shocking is that this little band from Brooklyn began so unassumingly. Their debut Horn of Plenty isn’t terrible as much as it is mediocre, and Yellow House is by no means a perfect record either. Though most fans knew good things would come from them in the future, could anyone have predicted them to be the band to play during the credits of New Moon?

— Eric Vilas-Boas

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