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Grand - Incapacitated, Ill Fated And In Love (2015)

7-06-2015, 16:11
Music | Rock | Alternative

Grand - Incapacitated, Ill Fated And In Love (2015)

Artist: Grand
Title Of Album: Incapacitated, Ill Fated And In Love
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Rock/Alternative
Label: Self Produced
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 41:04
Total Size: 101 MB

1. Romance Is Dead (2:58)
2. A City That Loves Me (3:31)
3. I Don't Want To Make You Happy I Want To Make You Cry (3:07)
4. Come Over (3:48)
5. Don't You Hate It When I'm Right (5:11)
6. Hurt Me (2:54)
7. Why Don't You Wait (5:06)
8. I Got It Wrong (3:56)
9. Eating Out Of His Hands (5:22)
10. Evening Fell, The Curtains Close (5:07)

For long enough a city associated only with The Cribs – and for those with longer memories, Be-Bop Deluxe – there are now clear and present signs that Wakefield is starting to emerge from the long musical shadow cast by its larger metropolitan neighbours, Leeds and Sheffield. Bolstered by the continuing success of the annual, multi-venue Long Division Festival and the reopening of the city’s principal concert venue Unity Hall, a local music scene is slowly but very surely beginning to thrive. And so to the names of such as Allusondrugs, imp, Crybabycry and The Ainsley Band we can now safely add that of The Grand.

Whilst the trio of Russ Smith (bass guitar and lead vocals), his brother Tom Peel (guitar and backing vocals) and Andy Jennings (drums and backing vocals) may well have been around for some five years now – something to which two EPs and three singles can attest – it is the release of their debut album, the evocatively entitled Incapacitated, Ill Fated, and In Love that will surely put The Grand firmly onto the musical map.

It is a big, bold and adventurous record. Dealing as it does in the lyrical currencies of loss, loneliness and regret, Incapacitated, Ill Fated, and In Love explores the darker side of love. Musically it rakes about in the ashes of post-punk, power pop, Americana and art-rock before salvaging from that debris an irresistible cocktail of sound.

‘Romance Is Dead’ sets the scene. It points the way to a claustrophobic world of relationships that have fallen apart as it welds rejection and heartbreak to a chassis of jagged, angular guitar which nods obliquely in the direction of Gang of Four’s debut album Entertainment! Peering out from that desolation, ‘A City That Loves Me’ then drip-feeds the listener with some very guarded optimism – a feeling enhanced by the glorious brass motif that adorns the song’s sumptuous melody – before the album crests the rise of its first real killer tune.

Originally released as a single in late 2013, ‘I Don’t Want To Make You Happy I Want To Make You Cry’ still possesses all the essential hallmarks of those huge mid-70s booming ballads – think Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bob Seger here – a burning desire to drive all night with the window down and the FM radio turned up high. With its plaintive horn arrangement and subtle harmonies ‘Don’t You Hate It When I’m Right’ repeats a similar trick a couple of songs later.

‘Come Over’ bristles with energy and melody and not for the first time Russ Smith’s voice impresses with its dynamism and range. Swooping down from falsetto into its lower registers the sheer elasticity and acute sense of romantic despair it can capture brings to mind the raw emotions Samuel T Herring acts out when fronting Future Islands.

‘Hurt Me’ is all creeping pathos while ‘Why Don’t You Wait’ – containing the line from which the title of the album is taken – bleeds resignation and jealousy as the music now teeters on the verge of collapse. Propelled along by an almost jaunty rhythm, ‘I Got It Wrong’ helps Incapacitated, Ill Fated, and In Love regain some sense of composure. It puts both hands up in a gesture of culpability for all this suffering before shades of Joy Division dapple the final track ‘Evening Fell, The Curtains Close’ as if the brutal destiny of that band is somehow captured therein.

“I got things to say, let’s go start again” emotes Russ Smith, his words instilling an optimism which may well be at odds with the closing song’s (and much of the album’s) imperious gloom but signals clear hope for the future. It is a future that on the evidence of their debut album looks especially bright for The Grand.

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