This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year; after half a decade, Grand-Pop are finally releasing their debut album, Eight Nights. However, it’s a little unfair to bemoan the length of time it’s taken as the band has always been a side project with its three members having various other focuses.
So, after five years, was it worth the wait? Boy oh boy was it.
From the first vocal lick on opening track ‘Drop Trow’, Warren Mallia steals the focus with bittersweet vocals that seem to mature throughout the album. His voice is the perfect carrier for the emotive song writing within Eight Nights; with every moment of emotion comes a crackle of fragility, every glimpse of hope comes delicate tones, while a cathartic growl accompanies each moment of anger. It’s the dynamic mix needed to accurately convey the personal lyrical themes of love and loss. This variation in delivery is blended into the sound rather than overtaking it; when the lyrics hint at positivity the tone feels like it’s on a knife edge.
A track like the catchy and self-aware ‘Nova Scotia’, manages to seamlessly bring together of these vocal techniques, while ‘Saturday’ and ‘Woah’ are perfect examples of the most intense moments on the record; the emotion on display is almost exhausting. However, when the cracks appear and the anger seeps through there is a palpable connection between Mallia and the listener; there’s something almost uplifting and comforting in his catharsis.
Guitar and basslines occasionally steal the limelight as intros, outros and moments of comfort draw focus, while the drums remain integral behind every second. The musicianship is industrious in a way that creates an effortless depth of sound.
The complexities within the vocals are something that reveals itself after a few listens, while sonically the record verges on pure power pop. Much like Weezer or the Lemonheads, the hidden depths are exposed over time. Such is the persistent nature of the hooks and ear worms it becomes incredibly difficult to resist the urge to keep this record on repeat.
Although I’m not totally sold on the idea of suffering another half decade for the next instalment of Grand-Pop, if the results are the same I’ll be more than happy to wait.
Eight Nights is out on March 31st via Specialist Subject Records.