Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Grand Atlantic – How We Survive

The way “Brisbane’s favorite power-pop band” Grand Atlantic survive is by writing catchy songs. This is the excellent album Oasis should have done after What’s the Story Morning Glory but didn’t. True to their name, Grand Atlantic go after big, towering hooks. They know that hit songs are simple, and they keep them that way – this is the kind of album you’ll be humming despite yourself after you’ve heard it once. As terse as the writing is, the production has a massive, big-room 90s feel, with a ton of guitar overdubs ringing, pinging, clanging and crashing in their allotted spaces. What hits you right off the bat is how smartly and tastefully this has been assembled.

The album gets going with Coast Is Clear, a midtempo, harmony-driven escape anthem which sets the tone for the rest of the cd. Tripwires introduces the band’s other specialty, crunchy riff-rock, here spiced with some clever retro 80s synth patches. The big hit here, obviously, is She’s a Dreamer, which could be Oasis but thankfully without the coked-out poser attitude and all those pilfered Beatles licks (you can hear it right now on their myspace). The upbeat post-Oasis vibe continues on Freeway and its tasty layers of guitar.

The title track, interestingly enough, goes back in time another twenty years for a sort of Badfinger ballad feel. After that, the Rickenbackers kick in with some tasty jangle and clang on the sarcastic sha-la-la power-pop number Used to Be the Sensitive Type. There’s also a satisfying, electric piano-flavored dis of a gold-digging woman, a garage rock number, and the pensive anthem These Are the Times, a feast of textures with the Rickenbacker adding gorgeously echoey accents above the roar. Finally, on the last song, there are some Beatles echoes, specifically, Lennon’s Imagine. Otherwise, this is great driving music, great loud party music and something that could easily take off internationally. Keep your eyes on Grand Atlantic whether you’re in the antipodes or somewhere north of there. Oz fans can see the band live next at 8 PM on August 29 at the Coolangatta Hotel on the southern end of the Gold Coast, corner of Warner Street & Marine Parade in Coolangatta, Qld.

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Hey,

    Found your site while researching my review on Grand Atlantic. Agree with you completely, awesome retro-sixties, psych pop album.

    I’m adding you to our blogroll. Check us out at The Ripple Effect “the best music you’re not listening to,” and if you like what we’re doing, we’d love to be added to your blogroll.

    peace

    Comment by The Ripple Effect | August 25, 2009 | Reply

  2. Waaah! Now I’m completely addicted to this album. Don’t recall anything quite like it in the last 10 years…astoundingly great songs, perfect performances, and a spirit that hasn’t been major-labeled into submission. Somebody get them to the US now, we need some Grand Atlantic action…

    Comment by Tommygun | August 28, 2009 | Reply

    • Hey Tommygun and lucidculture folk! Morgan from Grand Atlantic here – we’re actually heading to the US and Canada in March this year! We’ll be playing San Fran, Monterey, LA, Chicago, Toronto, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Houston and Austin. Hopefully there’ll be a show near you! Check out our website or myspace for dates ūüôā

      Comment by Morgan | January 31, 2010 | Reply


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