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Grand Head

2016

 
Gorbie International Records  
Buy It Now  

 


Punk rock is all about attitude and sounding different from whatever is considered to be the mainstream . . . . at least it was. During the 70’s and a good portion of the 80’s that definitely proved to be true but during the 90’s everything changed. The success of a certain California punk band gave rise to what became known as pop punk and instead of having the usual, raw sound and feeling on recordings the new breed of punk featured over-produced albums, music videos, and arena tours. Virtually every A&R rep started looking for the next big thing and it seemed that perhaps punk was destined to change and certainly not for the better.

However there are those who have been a part of the music in one way or another who remember exactly how things are supposed to be and that punk isn’t about sounding like every other band but rather making your path and creating music which has the punk attitude but takes a more unconventional approach to the style. Brothers Barry Brusseau and Tim Ward have been a part of the Northwest punk scene for years, playing in various bands over the years and despite having been somewhat absent for a while, they are preparing to unleash a new project.

Grand Head harkens back to the roots of punk and steps away from what has become the necessity of every band clinging to the false belief that in order to be noticed, they need to replicate whatever the flavor of the moment might be. While having a two piece band might seem out of the ordinary, it’s certainly not uncommon with artists such as Godflesh or Big Business being two duos which abandon the generally accepted construct of what a band should be and have forged a new path of heaviness in the music industry. This is the same intent that Grand Head unleashes with their music.

The self-titled debuted is firmly grounded in the punk genre and much like many earlier bands, Grand Head doesn’t want to be limited or defined by a single genre.  Their songs integrate a variety of influences to craft a cohesive musical bulldozer packed with a brazen heaviness. Beyond their punk roots the songs reveal experimentation into other genres with minor elements of blues and metal fused into the inner workings of the music but there’s never any one aspect which tries to become the dominant, driving force of the thick and weighty sound. Grand Head merely takes their various influences repurposes them for the greater good of their music.

Stands out on the album include “Not a Cretin,” a slow, heavy cut certain to appeal across musical genres as would “Dark and Starry” which has a more straight ahead punk feeling but with that dense sound which becomes the trademark of Grand Head. “Amongst the Rubes” has more of a pseudo-blues style while a track such as “Variation” works its magic with a slow, subtle build before finally transforming into a crushing anthem. But these are merely some of the highlights. Grand Head offers something in virtually every song which moves beyond common arrangement. It might be the musical infusions, those moments when Barry toys with guitar effects to result in a noise soundscape, Tim’s departure from what is considered the norm with punk drumming, or simply the thick musical barrage which is a part of every song.

There are plenty of up and coming punk bands who want to revive the genre and take it back to its roots but many of them simply want to try and imitate what has come before. While Grand Head might have moments where they do sound like certain bands they also successfully bring in more than enough originally to keep their music from being a mere clone and instead undergo a musical metamorphosis into a heavier, punk driven direction that is sure to placate those who believe that punk has been killed by the corporate machine.

-mike-
 

Line-Up:
Barry Brusseau - guitar and vocals
Tim Ward - drums

 

Track Listing:
01 – Bull Ramos
02  - Not a Cretin
03  - Dark and Starry
04 – Amongst the Rubes
05 – Variation
06  - Threshold of a New Day
07  - In the Dead Of
08 – Lion's Share
09 – Pine Box

Running Time:
25:31
 


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