Ones To Watch: Grandfather

Posted: April 27, 2011 in One To Watch

Grandfather – Tremors from Big Ass Lens on Vimeo.

Both Exploding In Sound and OMGVinyl recommended this impressive New-York-based trio and I’d like to take this opportunity to share the wealth.  Having recently supported Mission of Burma, Grandfather’s latest LP ‘Why I’d Try’ is essential listening, and what’s more is available to download in its entirety for free.  Of course, should you like what is on offer, you could purchase the band’s generous Vinyl + CD offer.  Made all the more remarkable as the band funded the recording process via a Kickstarter pledge scheme.  Recorded with Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago (money well spent in my opinion), ‘Why I’d Try’ channels Radiohead style claustrophobia (particularly evident in the video above) with mid 90’s Grunge hooks, particularly of a Soundgarden variety, and guitar textures and effects that recall the likes of Jonny Greenwood, Thurston Moore and perhaps Ian MacKaye of Fugazi.

Guitarist Michael Kirsch is a new name to me, but throughout this record weighs in with an absorbing performance giving Grandfather a unique edge over their peers.  The dominant bass work of Jonathan Silverman anchors the whole sound much like current Pitchfork heroes Young Widows, hypnotically propelling each song along, further enhancing the notion that there’s many hidden depths to this three-piece.  It’s all capped off with an excellent percussive performance from drummer and vocalist Joshua Hoffman — Phil Collins he is not!.  In the current climate of the music industry, there are thousands of albums available and legally free to download.  It’s difficult to determine the rough from the smooth — there is a tonne of dross out there and it can detract from quality releases like ‘Why I’d Try’.  Trust me, this LP is most definitely worth diving head first into.  Expect to see this record feature on my end of year lists.

Why I’d Try twitches between orchestral brilliance, gritty post-punk, and cerebral assaults of noise, all falling precisely into place within its sonic puzzle. Locked tight in stranglehold rhythms delivered in strange time signatures, Grandfather’s debut is the type of record you listen to on repeat… for days on end



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