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Preston School of Industry | All This Sounds Gas (Domino)
To call them conventional may be overstating the case, but Scott (Spiral Stairs) Kannberg's contributions were among the more accessible in Pavement's oeuvre. Keeping busy since the break-up with the formation of Amazing Grease (US home to Oranger and The Moore Brothers among others), Kannberg's solo debut, under the Preston School of Industry moniker, was recorded last Autumn in Oakland and Berkeley in sunny California. Whilst his departure from Pavement hasn't seen him skip into MOR territory (and you kind of wish he had), much of All This Sounds Like Gas sounds like a bunch of leftovers (and sure enough, three of the cuts were written for Terror Twilight), uninspired chord progressions beefed up with some uncompromising band dynamics and a predictably skewed lyrical approach. Most of the ten tracks hit their stride then outstay their welcome, the lack of conventional narrative leaving little to grasp onto, like Scott's pedigree is enough of a reason to keep listening. I dunno, Pavement never worked for me either, all too clever for the sake of being clever whilst never really nailing a killer hook or melody like that was something for the birds. Take A Stand comes closest here, a self-confessed Lennon-inspired track that, like much before it, runs about two minutes overtime. No doubt closer inspection and a few more plays would pay dividends - yada yada yada.

Matt Dornan
June-July 2001

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