Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grand Lake

OK, so back in the Department of Right Up My Alley: I heard recently from Caleb Nichols, ex-bassist for Oakland indie band Port O’Brien. His new band is just now reaching its own cruising altitude.

Grand Lake is the name of the new project. This is a rock trio that does fun things with electronics &, well, noise. & so, Noise being pretty much my favorite flavor, yup, I’m listening right now to some selections from their new 4-song EP. The title track, “Louise,” opens up with a quick little feedback meander before getting down to some serious business in the land of chunka-chunka. By then I’ve already been sold bc, guys, you had me at scrrreeeech. Heh.

So yes feedback gives me a thrill, everybody knows that. But what I’m really liking here are the sharp dynamic shifts, now raunchy, now sinuous, now pounding, now howling. (Oh, & is that actually a sort of proto-disco rhythm, completely incongruous, at the beginning of “Black Cloud”? Can’t you just for a second almost hear Donna Summer singing “I Feel Love” over the top of that bass line? That’s just hot, I don’t care who you are!) Anyway, Grand Lake can turn on a dime & I think that’s important in a 3-piece band. With so few elements in the mix, each player needs to be right on top of his (her) game at all times. Based just on these couple of tracks, what I hear here is some very heavy hitting from these guys. & they’re just getting started. Right now I think they’re still figuring out the exact parameters of their sound, but this is going to be a band to watch.

You can pay Grand Lake a visit on their myspace page, or on their own blogsite. I’m told a full-length album is targeted for Spring 2010, & my curiosity has been officially piqued. It looks like a couple of local gigs are scheduled in the meantime, including one at Café du Nord on January 6. Which is now in my calendar.

In ink.

See you there?

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