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Alternative/Punk

Guster

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Guster became one of the most successful bands to hit the East Coast scene in the late '90s. Through relentless touring and humorous stage banter with the crowd, the band developed a strong,...

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Guster became one of the most successful bands to hit the East Coast scene in the late '90s. Through relentless touring and humorous stage banter with the crowd, the band developed a strong, grassroots fan base that spread rapidly with a strong presence on the Internet. The Boston trio developed a unique sound with two acoustic guitars and a bongo set, successfully defying the typical industry pigeonholing. They wrote short, infectiously catchy tunes about love, suicide, and absurdist rock star lifestyles. Through word of mouth alone, the band sold over 40,000 copies of independent debut Parachute and their second effort, Goldfly.

Ryan Miller (guitar, vocals), Adam Gardner (guitar, vocals), and Brian Rosenworcel (percussion) met in 1992 at Tufts University, and played around the Boston area during college. Originally named Gus, the band adopted the appended Guster moniker after discovering several other national touring acts playing under the same name. In 1994 they recruited producer Mike Denneen for their debut album, Parachute, which The Boston Globe named Best Local Debut Album in 1995. Guster also appeared on Aware Compilation, Vol. 3 the same year.

Within a couple of years from their inception, Guster became one of the most popular bands in the area. Named the Best Live Act at the Boston Music Awards in 1997, Guster was hailed as one of the greatest independent successes of the 1990s, achieving a reputation as one of the most reputable unpromoted bands of the decade. After releasing a second album, Goldfly, in March 1997, Guster continued a relentless touring schedule and sold out small clubs across the country. In 1998, Guster signed the first contract under an agreement between Sire Records Group and Hybrid Recordings. The group re-released Goldfly in April 1998 under the major-label contract and returned the following year with Lost and Gone Forever, which positioned the band for greater exposure, especially on the college level.

Producer Roger Moutenot (Joseph Arthur, Sleater-Kinney, Yo La Tengo) assisted Guster in the studio for their fourth album; however, Sire folded and Guster shopped for another label before signing with Reprise's Palm Pictures in early 2003. Keep It Together appeared in June. The band spent the next year touring America several times over. Their CD/DVD set Guster on Ice: Live from Portland, Maine appeared May 2004. Two years later, Guster issued their fifth album, Ganging Up on the Sun. The sunny 12-song set also marked the proper debut of multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia as a permanent member of the group.

~ Arabella Clauson & MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide