Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Album Review - Grand National - A Drink and a Quick Decision (Noize Makes Enemies)
Meet Grand National. The London two-piece is made up of Lawrence ‘La’ Rudd and Robert Lyddon and is somewhat hard to fathom. Like the friend that on occasions you want to lock yourself in a room with, and others when the thought of an interrupted 60 minutes alone with them leaves you envying the partially deaf, their debut album ‘A Drink and Quick Decision’ is unusual in its style. It darts unpredictably from one approach to another as the play head moves along the thirteen tracks. Songs like ‘Reason to Hide in’ evoke a New Order type of 80’s electro muted passion before ‘New Space to Throw’ throws in a bit of Cuban - esque drumming for good measure. If that wasn’t enough, ‘Joker and the Clown’s lyrics ‘I’m in the mood for a comeback’ are beautifully relevant in a way that touches everyone who has ever longed to peel away their skin and start everything again. People tired of the same sounding alternative bands who are more interested in impressing Zane Lowe with their skinnies than they are with their music capability, will love the diverse nature of Grand National and their sporadic Gogol Bordello tendencies. Whilst individually, a lot of the songs like ‘Close Approximation’ are as pretty good, it’s the inconsistent and disorganised nature of the tracks that would at times leave it sounding more like a awkward NOW compilation, if it wasn’t for Robert’s distinctive vocals. The rely-race between genres does become tedious but Grand National’s songs still have the ability to toy with your feelings in the way that any good album should. More importantly, in this era of regularly manufactured ring-tone inspired noise, their lyrics have a fundamental believability that is so often missing, and as a result, their songs have heart.