Gary Young’s Hospital – The Grey Album (Omnibus)
You know Gary Young. The spaced-out hippie that sat behind the drums and mixing board on early Pavement releases. The guy who used to do handstands mid-song during their sets. The guy who handed out vegetables at their shows. The unlucky bastard that got the shaft just as Pavement became the seminal 90s indie rock band. Then again, maybe you don’t. And it’s probably all the same to him.
While only releasing three albums since he ran around with Pavement, he’s been busy running his own studio, Louder Than You Think, designing the universal microphone shock mount, and living in general obscurity.
Gary Young is the sort of fringe artist that few indie snobs may think of as a genius, but he is something of a curiosity if nothing else. With The Grey Album we find Gary Young plucking a nearly half the songs from his out-of-print 1999 release The Things We Do For You, and assembling a hodgepodge of filler to round it off. The songs are typical indie rock pap that falls somewhere between Yes, Syd Barrett, and the Tall Dwarfs. For some, that may sound amazing, but unfortunately for all the good intentions that are presented within this album, it all falls short.
The album has a few high points such as the simple indie pop punk of “Vegetarians Are A Token.” And the eccentricity of “Fred Named Friend” (mp3) is bound to catch a few folks’ attention. Though the album offers a few glimpses of what could have been a decent album, overall its erratic content and overall blandness leave it to be little more than a curiosity.