Grand are a Swedish trio that continue a long line of melodic rock/AOR bands going back as many years as we’ve been writing about them.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: FRCD 1264
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Mattias Olofsson – lead and backing vocals * Jakob Svensson – guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals * Anton Martinez Matz – drums, bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Caroline * 02 Stone Cold * 03 Make It Grand * 04 The Price We Pay * 05 Johnny On The Spot * 06 Those Were The Days * 07 Once In A Blue Moon * 08 Too Late * 09 After We’ve Said Goodbye * 10 Ready When You Are * 11 Anything For You
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Grand are a Swedish trio that continue a long line of melodic rock/AOR bands from that country going back as many years as we’ve been reviewing them. Mattiss Olofsson has been a singer and songwriter for twenty plus years, while Jakob Svensson was previously with the band Wigelius who we have reviewed several times before on GDM.
On paper Grand seem like a tailor-made fit for the GDM audience, with clean lines and more melodies than an overloaded apple tree. And using that analogy, good tunes obviously fall close to this Grand old tree, and that’s the case here with eleven on offer, just shy of a dozen.
The Grand template is identified as early as the first track ‘Caroline’, catchy on all fronts and as commercial as anything. Check out the video for this listed below. Parping syths pave the way on ‘Stone Cold’ and at this early stage I’m hearing similarities to fellow Swedes Work Of Art, more AOR than West Coast.
‘Make It Grand’ takes the singalong approach with its nah nah’s for vocal choruses. Very energetic. ‘The Price We Pay’ is a pleasant excursion with tinkly synths and lovely vocal parts. So far so good. ‘Johnny On The Spot’ sounds like it was written back in the late 80’s, there’s some surging music on display here.
‘Those Were The Days’ cruises smoothly, the effortless voice of Mattias Olofsson makes this a joy to listen to. Surely one for that summer drive in the old switchback convertible. ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ assumes a more somber tone, without losing any of the elements of the overall Grand sound. ‘Too Late’ is the raciest song so far, definitely for fans of Work Of Art or Lionville.
‘After We’ve Said Goodbye’ is another to nudge the metronome just slightly, and I feel that approach is beneficial for the band. Grand ham it up on ‘Ready When You Are’. It’s more hard rock than AOR, with Svensson’s guitar taking a more prominent role. The album is bought to a close with the lilting ballad ‘Anything For You’, laden with lush keys and melting vocal melodies.
Grand were a worthy project to pick up by Frontiers, a clear highlight among a slew of non-essential releases from the Italian label during 2022, apart from a couple of albums from earlier in the year that deserve a write-up which we’ll eventually get to. Let’s hope this trio hang around for a bit, there’s a lot to like here.
Those Were The Days
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