The 90s were the last decade of uncertainty. After the millennium, it seemed like everybody knew what they were doing. Everybody suddenly had a plan, got a job, got hitched, bought a car, house, invested in bank bonds; it was the beginning of the end. Pavement were a definitive slacker band that symbolised the simple times.
To the many, their music was sporadic and spontaneous, lo fi, all over the place lyrically and emotionally. So it’s without a doubt this Best Of comp brings back those memories of innocence. Unlike most anthologies, Quarantine The Past was not remastered to make things clearer. In fact, quite the opposite, it’s mixed to highlight the essence of the band, the pureness and fun.
The difference between the songs here and the original releases were considerable vast – guitars were amped up, shakers and other percussive instruments suddenly got trusted to the forefront and lead crooner Stephen Malkmus sounded like he just got up from bed after hitting the bong hard last night.
Whether it was glee pop rock (‘Gold Soundz’ & ‘Cut Your Hair’), a dusty country ballad about Lollapalooza (‘Range Life’), spooky-literate longing (‘Shady Lane’) or crack-den jams (‘Two States’ & ‘Fight This Generation’), Pavement laid down the concrete for bands willing to step out of the 3-chord realm like Blur, Radiohead and Grizzly Bear. Where ever you were in the 90s, this 23-track retrospective will jolt your memories. Or maybe not. But that doesn’t matter, does it?