With his Suburban Tours LP this Spring, San Francisco’s Rangers seemed to turn the notion of authorship on its head, toiling away in his rudimentary bedroom studio to produce compositions that sounded more like computer-generated “supermarket music” than anything else. Though he minted the illusion from scratch, the only place where we could sense Joe Knight, feel him living and breathing and intervening on an authorial level, was in his decision to pass the whole thing through the distancing fun-house mirror of warped cassette sound, tipping the alienation factor into the realm of despair. “The Long Goodbye,” his new single, is the sound of Knight trying to dig his way from of the mountain of pop-cultural detritus he so willingly piled on; we’re still hemmed in by a single, repeated guitar loop, wandering the uniform isles of every Stop and Shop in the country without a destination in sight. But the products have all been cleared off the shelves, and beholding the gleaming infrastructure beneath brings on a small shiver of empowerment.
Rangers, “The Long Goodbye”