Carrot Rope, Pt. 2 presents a great band both perfecting a warble rock sound and running out of new ideas. "Carrot Rope" is taken from the band's final full-length nosedive into genius indie band oblivion, Terror Twilight. It bounces and deploys irony in the finest bubbly quasi-joking, quasi-emotional Pavement fashion. Stephen Malkmus' vocals are relatively subdued, suggesting a maturity and confidence lacking on the relatively unfocused Brighten the Corners, Terror Twilight's predecessor. The song is a rolling, plunk-heavy good time. That's pretty much where all the fun stops, as the B-sides are quite forgettable. "The Porpoise & the Hand Grenade" really does include the title's subjects in its lyrics, and such goofiness perfectly depicts the song's lack of focus. Malkmus' vocals are less assured and a bit wobbly and awkward, and the music suggests that the song might be the dark side to "Carrot Rope." The song flounders, becoming nothing more than a throwaway, recycled diversion. "Rooftop Gambler" is only slightly more interesting than "The Porpoise & the Hand Grenade," mostly because Malkmus affects more of an attitude and the music is a big lighter. Still, there are no great Pavement-worthy hooks or compelling lyrics in sight. The ridiculous, high-pitched guitar solo that ends the song is both a pain to the ears and rather lazy. Both B-sides end up sounding like pale imitations of "Carrot Rope." Pavement has crafted far better B-sides than the two offered here. Everyone who already has Terror Twilight in their collections can skip past this edition of Carrot Rope.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina