Ganging up on the Sun


    Despite the fervent support of college campuses across the country, Guster has never been a big band.  The instrumentation — two acoustic guitarists, one percussion player — has consistently supported the members’ keen songwriting craft, but on the band’s four previous LPs, the music has always taken second place to the shared vocals of Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner. On Ganging up on the Sun, it’s still the warm, earnestly sung lyrics, especially the New York tome “Empire State” and “C’mon,” that continue to carry the band. But from the bouncy, Beatles-y piano of “Manifest Destiny” to the distorted electric jangle and cymbal rolls of “The Beginning of the End” and “The New Underground,” the members of Guster manage to let out a bit of their inner Oasis without sacrificing any of their “I-knew-them-first” credibility. It’s these moments, when the music takes over, that we get a trench-level view of a band moving excitedly forward.


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