Friday, April 23, 2010

Grand Lake - Blood Sea Dream

Wow, several giant steps are being taken in a forwardly direction here by our locally-grown trio Grand Lake. The band’s first LP Blood Sea Dream is freshly set for release next month (& also constitutes the maiden voyage of brand-spanking-new label Hippies Are Dead Records). Excitement abounds, peoples.

Some months ago, I did predict great things ahead for this band &, not to be a dick about it, but it is indeed nice to have been proven correct. Blood Sea Dream is brimming with surprises, starting right off with the rather solemn-yet-sexy midtempo opener, “It Takes a Horse,” w/its doorslam percussion & its wistful-cryptic refrain of Please Talk Slow (evidently on account of) You Breathe Fire.

See, I would’ve expected more of a windup to open the album, something along the lines of “Louise,” title track from last year’s EP. But no, that’s actually Track 2 here, except but Wait, this here is “Louise” two-point-oh: punchier, more muscled, 40 seconds shorter, & several fewer degrees separated from perfect.

Not that anybody should get cozy in the frenetic, avant-bruit realm here. Turns out that Grand Lake are now offering up plenty more flavors than just the one. “Carpoforo” is all mannerist-mournful, for e.g., while last year’s “Black Cloud” remains a fuzzbox ghost tale dissonant & distraught. Meanwhile, “Our Divorce” is a jazzish waltz of all things, with actual violins. Along the way we get squealing wine glasses, we get more strings, we get (I think) a freaking glockenspiel. These are just not the ingredients you typically expect to find stirred into your distortion, your feedback, your lovely/strident sample-loops.

Maybe even more surprising, the actual songwriting here is genuinely polished to a glossy sheen. Hooks abound, positively reeking of Pop (uppercase), & yet the band’s Noisy (likewise) foundation –the first & favored flavor– persists throughout. Blood Sea Dream is layered, complex & evocative. It’s a butched-up affair throughout, notwithstanding its sashays into prettiness, now here now there. This is Pop music, but it’s Pop w/a hard-on. Let’s make that the pull-quote, guys!

The Grand Lake dance card looks to be filling up fast, with gigs around town & elsewhere. You might probably want to check right into that &, meanwhile, you can stream the entire album right now, right here.

& plus, hear:

GL - Louise mp.3

1 comment:

  1. I've been on the Grand Lake train for a long long time now. Caleb is basically the second coolest person around, after moi.