Quarantine the Past by Pavement – Album Review

quarantine the past album review

by Matt Callard

It wasn’t really until Blur name-dropped Pavement as an influence that the New York band started to emerge from the shady lanes of Cultsville. But by then the band had pretty much started to disintegrate.

Since their demise in 1999 their legend has grown – so much so that we’ve already had the back-slapping reformations, the ‘most important band of the nineties’ accolades and luxurious repackaging of former glories.

quarantine-the-past album review pavementThey were great, of course – albeit erratically. Indeed, erratic kind of became their stock-in-trade which makes this compilation of their less angular moments a little unrepresentative – after all, what’s a Pavement album without the odd slice of unlistenable slop?

“Erratic became their stock-in-trade”

In typically abstruse fashion the tracks on this ‘best of’ are out of chronology. Which means you don’t get to hear the band progress from scratchy, definitively lo-fi beginnings (‘Box Elder’), through chiming country rock (‘Gold Soundz’) into skewed prog (‘Stereo’). Which is kind of a shame but kind of irrelevant.

A bit like this album.

So go buy the studio records and hear Pavement how they should sound – warts ‘n’ all.


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