GRANDHOUR – BOMBS & BULLETS (2016)
Release Date: 11 November 2015
℗ 2015 Rock Hawk Records
- All In Or Nothing
- Bombs & Bullets
- Scar By Scar
- Take Back Your Words
- All I Planned (Catch Me If You Can)
- Beneath the Surface
- Grey Skies
- Buried Alive
- Come Fighting
Band Members: Nicole Hawkins, Jason Hawkins, Mark Hawkins, Jerome Smith, Chris Lugton
The first dominant consideration one casts toward Grandhour when spinning the debut album Bombs And Bullets is the vast musical experience that must drive this group to produce such a prodigious collection of fresh rock on their big ‘outing’. If there was ever an album that has the potential to leave your mouth agape in bewildered awe, Bombs And Bullets is it.
Grandhour has created a phenomenally innovative sound that is rock all over, but with a tremendous diversity and instrumental complexity that homogenises into a contemporary ‘must have’ for your collection. Not to coin an overused cliché, but the unavoidable truth is simply that this album does in fact, have something for everyone.
All In Or Nothing opens with sensation guitar grunt to commence your experience but softens to part the musical waters and bring to the fore a magical, magnificent delivery from Nicole Hawkins. A resounding consideration deep in the recesses of our musical memory keeps throwing forth the comparison to a young Pat Benatar. As your thoughts of delighted wonder are released from the angelic vocal delivery, you are back with a track that had every temptation to travel into the darkened recesses of heavy rock, but instead, Grandhour is true to their creativity and innovative sound. This opener is sensational by way of tickling alive your musical partiality and making the seconds wait for the subsequent track, a torturous eternity. Thoroughly captivating from the outset.
Bombs and Bullets most definitely delivers a powerful message harmonic complexity and beautiful blending of styles to create something truly exciting. Not necessarily a completely new sound, but certainly an archetypical style. It’s about now that you realise you are experiencing something surely akin to that of a prospector brushing away the surface layer and sighting the first glimpses of gold. Could you be discovering the next huge act in Oz rock history?
Scar By Scar has me considering a vast range of potential influences to their sound, none of which I will ask you to entertain here, but nevertheless, you find yourself hooked. The brilliance of this track is the separation between contributing artists, doubtless made manifest in the writing stages. I true celebration of every protagonist blended into a sensational track. Hook central. And, again, the restraint demonstrated in staying true to their style blasts to the fore.
Take Back Your Words is introduced beautifully, albeit briefly, with a piano section perhaps indicative of the bliss experienced proceeding the realisation that the silver-tongued deceiver was false. Beautifully produced and magnificent in highlighting the laborious hours that surely have been spent in its creation. The Chicago-esque horn section is an utterly delightful inclusion, blended so well that it actually provides a pleasing sensation. Remarkable.
All I Planned provides a blissful reminder that you are on the verge of shouting at your friends ‘I heard them first’ as the track blasts forth from commercial radio. Such an appealing track for such a vast range of reasons, from the solo to the hooks, to the chorus repeating in your head for hours on end, to Nicole’s sensationally appealing voice luring you to the nearest live venue. Catch me if you can? Really? The very first opportunity to see you all perform live. Absolutely.
Beneath the Surface is instrumentally introduced with a sensational mood of malevolence before we are vocally charmed. A tremendous balance between the mood of the music and the vocals, accompanying the title in the most appropriate manner. Beautiful
guitar performances represent the agony of choice to an absolute tee.
Domino is ‘that’ track. That one that makes your vocalise your delight with an audible ‘oh yeah’. Slow and sensual, but also providing an understanding of Nicole’s potential vocal range. Certainly not exhausted here, but so beautifully controlled and the guitar solos represent a heart’s wailing angst so brilliantly well, and rarely captured in a recording. Just try getting this one out of your head.
Perhaps in need of some emotional empowerment from the former? Grey Skies to the rescue with a progressively punchy sound and sensationally placed in track sequencing. Watch Out all you Grey Skies, Grandhour provide the perfect soulful inspiration to see your arse kicked to the kerb.
Buried Alive is a remarkable track that prompts the natural question as to why this isn’t pumping out of your favourite radio station. The ebb and flow both vocally and musically is perfect. Just perfect. A track you feel through to your core, and you can’t help but consider the fade out as being relevant for the band.
Truth of A Lie is presented at the perfect time to help the listener understand that this is not the time to assume you have experienced the complete package that is Grandhour. They explore yet another aspect of their diversity brilliantly, bringing forth contemplation of what possible limits could constrain their creativity, and what will follow this album. Come Fighting drives the aforementioned sentiments further into contemplation. Just sensational and probably my favourite track, even if only for its beautiful genre blending to create something so appealing.
It’s always difficult to summarise the emotions gleaned from an album that is this fresh, creative and brilliantly executed, but have you ever been really, really broke and then found a long forgotten stack of $100 notes in an old wallet in your wardrobe?