Jul 9, 2009

Grimble Grumble. Leaves Leader.


The amplified buzz of insects at dusk gives way to a beautifully chiming guitar that's soon joined by its sister, plucking out an equally pristine melody, dreamily shimmering just far enough away from the first to act as its parallax. The bass and drums kick in, giving Rail Road an effortless, hazy groove that swells imperceptibly, hinting at rockers to come, before gently fading out under heavy-lidded, female vocals drifting somewhere "so far away".

Casanova sparks to life with sharply distorted guitars, their strings replaced by crackling, electrified tinsel. The woman's voice is back, but shrouded in a blue haze that's quickly overtaken by a messy swamp of feedback drenched blues riffs. It's just enough to nudge you back towards consciousness, although you may have stepped through the barrier of sleep without noticing.

The next two tracks are the album's standouts. Wish Song brings back the dual guitars from Rail Road, but starts piling on syncopated drum riffs and crashing cymbals. Layers of squealing, stratospheric guitar runs build and climb, hovering on the brink of collapse until it suddenly disappears into a quiet eddy of piano keys and rumbling tape warble. Third Song (actually track number five) repeats the trick, building slowly from an ethereal wash of keyboards while a fuzzed out guitar and the singer's voice whisper softly underneath. This alone would be enough for a gorgeous song, as it has a very Windy & Carl-ish quality, until about halfway through when the drummer unleashes a storm of cymbal crashes that the guitar stutteringly responds to before both explode into a glorious, soaring krautrock rhythm that I wish had gone on twice as long before whirring back down to a gentle, fading hum.

Intro (actually song number six) condenses everything down to a lumbering, squalling, heavy hitter with echoing drums and guitars that clear away the underbrush for the acoustic led Fall. Though they're named for the gnome from Pink Floyd's The Gnome, Grimble Grumble have a lot more in common with distortion heavy, psychedelic sludgemongers like Bardo Pond (although tighter and more tuneful). Unlike the other songs, Fall does have a bit of that 70's shag carpet and panelled basement feel to it. The strummed acoustic guitar paired against the distorted electric gives it a bit of a Led Zeppelin vibe that's slowly overtaken by a Bardo Pond-ish take on Saucer era Pink Floyd.

Like many of their songs, the album closes with a gentle, meandering, slow burn. Emma Sleeping Blues highlights their light, assured touch on the guitar as it wanders through a stoned blues melody, occasionally highlighted with swells of swirling distortion and bent steel guitar. You can drift back to sleep now.

Seriously, I can't recommend this album enough. Just download it now.


Grimble Grumble on myspace

2 Blurts:

NOISEBOX said...

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we share same interest in music. thanks and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

grimble grumble's first lp