Friday, February 23, 2024

Grand Royale don’t Take It Easy

First of all, this is NOT the Beastie Boys tribute band that plies their trade in Portland, Oregon (the home of Grimm!) so beware your Googling! This Grande Royale are from Sweden and presents a clever blend of 70s era American rock and the ever-strong Scandi rock of the 90s and beyond. Now on to album number five (counting a live release) and called Take It Easy, that musical mix has developed into an identity of their own and supplies eleven tracks of solid, accessible rock.

‘Bring It Up’ starts the ball rolling with a great Aerosmithy riff but with horns. It has a bounce that carries you along, and a chorus to join in with lifts it further; a short sax solo reminds me of the great Golden Earring before the guitar takes over and picks chords that are a bit like JC Superstar. Mercifully the subject matter isn’t the great white telephone! ‘Sweet Livin’’ is a favourite already as the southernish rock with slide takes hold and builds into a fine rocker and a suitably slinky twin guitar solo. ‘Cogitator’ is a thoughtful slower and subtle slice of rock that reminds me of Foghat at their peak. ‘Baby You’re A Fool’ is their near ballad that is rock infused with soul and a bit of blues. It’s rescued from cliché and Eagles comparisons by the fluid guitar solo. ‘Decelerate’ starts like Purple and moves rapidly into Miichael Monroe and delivers a bass line that makes this a standout. ‘On and On’ wraps it all up with a belter in a Faces, but modern way and the solo is short and sweet too.

Only two tracks last longer than four minutes, but the band pack a lot into every song that, whilst I was left wanting more and longer solos, it is still a powerful and solid rock album that is welcome on my iPod whenever they turn up. Well worth a listen.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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