Never mind moving through the gears, Santa Fe singer-songwriter Guy Grogran‘s 10th album starts in top gear with the palm-muted, crunching power chords of ‘Anatomy of a Crush’.
Recalling the best Elvis Costello foot stompers it’s such an uplifting start that the immediate change of tempo and style on ‘Stick the Landing’ is somewhat of a surprise -but then Grogan is a self-avowed genre swinger who is not afraid to take a variety of musical directions, à la The Beatles.
“It’s what they did so well from mid-career on,” he says. “Their records covered miles and miles of musical terrain. I’m not nearly as adept, but it’s a very inspirational model and one that I think will keep me busy for many years.”
‘Stick the Landing’ then is more melancholy Radiohead than air-guitar inducing rock. Grogan’s voice is quite something – striking an impressive balance between in and out of tune as it oscillates and quivers across the guitar-led soundscape.
It really is an album of contrasts. The lip-curling attitude of ‘Myself Away’ contrasting markedly with the haunting finger-picked ‘House For the Leaving’ and it’s lyrics: “That’s what you sold me, that I’ve bought now you’re dying.” The gentle jazzy bluesy ‘Aelegy’ against the the 90s indie strumming of ‘Just Don’t Know’.
Elements of Blondie, Weezer and The Dandy Warhols can be heard – it’s an alternative/indie/pop/rock lover’s delight and a thoroughly engaging listen from New Mexico’s finest.
Glitter in the Gears is out now.
11 is louder than 10 verdict
11 – Sonic boom
10 – Planet rock
9 – Headbanging
8 – Turn it up
7 – Rocking
6 – Foot tapping
5 – Worth a listen
4 – Background music
3 – Turn it down
2 – Earache
1 – Turn it off
0 – Ear bleeding
In association with Independent Music Promotions.