Year of release: 2013
Released by: addicted label
Rating: 6 / 10
The next release from Nameless Label is a half-hour EP of the Russian band THE GRAND ASTORIA, released in 2013. The discography of Petersburgers is very impressive: two dozen releases, among which there are even exclusives on 12-inch records. In addition, the band is actively gigging in Western Europe. It seems that someone really needs all this. What is so interesting there? As it turned out - nothing. THE GRAND ASTORIA was once defined as a “music laboratory”, and the band itself, judging by its official resources, supports this definition. And from this it follows that TGA is the embodiment of what I am opposed to as a fanzine author and a simple listener - music for the sake of music. A quick acquaintance with TGA showed that this is one of these bands that write songs about their guitars - can it be any worse? A self-publishing label with the proverbial name “flower punk”, hippie habits, light humor that permeates the very essence of TGA - believe me, I'm also wondering how is this stuff got into extreme fanzine. But, since the disc was sent, you have to do your work and write about the music, for which everything was started.
The material on the disc is split in two parts: good and with vocals. Fortunately, there is not much vocals here, but it manages to spoil the impression in a couple of seconds. don’t even know what is wrong with it. It would seem that there are no “sharp corners”, the usual unstressed singing, but still... It's funny - as the voice barely starts to sound, the riffs behind it are immediately simplified to the most banal ever. As soon as the voice falls silent, more interesting musical decisions immediately emerge. I think this was done intentionally so as not to hide the pearls under a pile of... let's call it dry foliage.
Everything that has been freed from vocals does not have a single flaw, although it does not make one shout in delight either. This is a mixture of psychedelic, stoner, progressive and all other positively tuned rock that you can imagine. No perception problems are foreseen. I must give credit to the musicians - they still try to compose good things, and do not rape the guitars with mediocre “improvisation”, until they get to the brown note that puts an end to the madness of presumptuous composers. The songs are quite simple, rid of unnecessary elements, not prolonged, rhythmic. The band works on contrasts very well, rebuilds the sound of instruments on the go, and never enters a new peak fragment until the previous one is finished. Not surprisingly, TGAs often perform live. Using their music, it is very easy to get the audience moving. And their fantasy works as it should. I’ll be honest: TGA juggle riffs and chords better than 90% of the bands whose albums I receive through my promo channels. It may not be the coolest riffs and chords in the world, but the process is set up in a best way possible. And I have not yet mentioned kilometer-long guitar solos, my biggest weakness.
The technical side of the sound is almost flawless. Almost all the material was recorded at a studio in Holland, making it impossible to guess the country of origin of the EP. Vocal discovers that English is not a native language for the singer, but not explicitly. In general, “Deatmarch” sounds very Western European. The disc is published in an unpretentious 4-panel digipack without a booklet and texts. Details on a video. To summarize: “Deatmarch” is a good release, but frivolity makes it one-time. The music here is good, but music is just one part of the album. Other albums, much less interesting musically, can be listened to again and again, thanks to the message embedded in them. Others - only thanks to the music, but such masterpieces usually appear five times a generation. The music of “Deatmarch” is not so great as to become the soundtrack to your life, and I already said everything about the content. Therefore, the EP is destined to remain a small chapter in the history of THE GRAND ASTORIA and a minor episode in the life of a listener who always has a whole world full of much more exciting releases.