Grenadier - Self-Titled Album
(c) 2008 - Ubique UCD4
One of the most awkward experiences in modern life is when a friend gives you his/her band's new CD to listen to. 4 out of 5 times it's gonna end poorly if you don't lie like hell and tap your vocabulary for every single euphemism that you've ever learned. Then (since it's your friend) you keep listening to the album until you have songs like the Floating Basement's "When Mamaluke is at the Beach" running through your head in the middle of Congressional appropriations hearings and other assorted inopportune moments.
It ain't a good thing.
A couple of weekends ago P-Dawg handed me the new Grenadier album. I liked their 2005 album Hand Offensive, so I was optimistic about this one - I popped it into the CD player while The Girl drove my loaded ass home, and then promptly forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Last night I decided to give it a fair (read: sober) listen, and I was blown away.
Hand Offensive was good, but seemed to wander all over the map. This new album is fucking SOLID - It has a laser-beam straight focus and kicks it out from the get-go. It is one of the best examples of American Power-Pop since Weezer's 'Blue Album' or Redd Kross' 'Phaseshifter'.
This new album plays like the distilled history of the Power-Pop movement. Two parts Elvis Costello, one part The Jam, one part Big Star, one part Cheap Trick, one part The Replacements, one part Redd Kross, with a pinch of Glam Rock (The Sweet/Slade/Roxy Music), and a touch of Indie-Noise (Jesus and Mary Chain/My Bloody Valentine). Throw all of that together and you have something totally new, and absolutely brilliant.
The only real departure from that formula is track #3, 'Ghost Child', which has a balls-out 1980's Australian pub-rock (Beasts of Bourbon/Gun Club) feel to it.
Good stuff, to be sure.
All-in-all 'Grenadier' is definitely worth picking up, and will be in my personal rotation for a while. I just hope that they can get out and book some shows soon with some bigger Chicago bands so that this record doesn't pass under the radar.
P-Dawg handed me this disc at the MOTO/Methadones show at Otto's, and it's a damned shame that they weren't on the bill that night. Woulda been a perfect fit - C'mon guys, get on it.
2. Look at Me
3. Ghost Child
4. Poor Little Baby
5. See Run Boy
7. Public Now
8. Leave 'em Ringin'