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Rhythm & Views

Grandaddy

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At seven songs, Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla is closer to a full-length than an EP, and it follows a theme of suburban desolation: nothing to do, nowhere to go and the insanity that results. We all know the Todd Zilla type: Picture the guys in American Movie, or perhaps Michael Bolton from Office Space--he dreams of getting out, but just can't quite seem to muster up the energy. The Diary of Todd Zilla is a clear and concise example of the ways in which Grandaddy's songs accurately depict strip-mall America.

"At My Post" dances around reasons for not leaving--"The last time I considered leaving here, the roads caught fire and I drank all our beer."

"Outdated dreams have kept your friends around," sings Jason Lytle in "Cinderland," and in "Florida," the inertia is even more apparent: "Good afternoon from the bar in the mall, they sent me home from work today but nobody told me where else to go." All of these depraved sentiments are set to more or less happy pop melodies, "Florida" being downright cute, with jangly guitars and monkey-like noises. "Fuck the Valley Fudge," though, is just sad piano and Lytle singing about plotting out "a plan to take down the man" with "Fuck the Valley" fudge, a special concoction of "stucco dust and wet drywall sludge" that they will use against "Applebee's and Chuck E. Cheese." Even the most active mentality is drenched in desolation.

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