Home > News & Reviews > Great Grandpa

Great Grandpa - Plastic Cough (Album Review)

Monday, 10 July 2017 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Buggo Vigor

There’s a song on Great Grandpa’s ‘Plastic Cough’ called Fade. It’s about being confronted with the same stuff time and time again and yearning for a jolt of excitement. It’s also a neat summation of what this record does so well; namely remind us that gritty, power chord-happy indie-rock can still be vital and thrilling.

Take inventory here and you’ll find many aspects of Great Grandpa’s sound that have become part of the furniture thanks to their repeated use elsewhere. You’ll notice the gnarled riffs and knotty melodic sensibilities of Speedy Ortiz, the chaotic-yet-precise rhythms of Jawbox and hulking slabs of noise that might as well be wearing a flannel shirt and shredded jeans.

And while it's a lazy start to disassemble a band’s sound in search of genre cause and effect, it’s hard to skip that step when discussing ‘Plastic Cough’.

That’s because the use of these constituent parts could so easily induce an eye roll. It is to Great Grandpa’s vast credit that they make them sound absolutely, unabashedly alive.

At the heart of that is the interaction between vocalist Alex Menne and guitarists Pat Goodwin and Dylan Hanwright. The idiosyncrasies of Menne’s delivery - a delay on one syllable, another drawn out to wrap around a riff - are reflected back by the barbed output of her bandmates, who have a watertight rhythm section, bassist Carrie Miller and drummer Cam LaFlam, to prop up their more adventurous decisions.

Great Grandpa don’t often miss a chance to push the envelope in terms of the record’s dynamics, from the punch of Teen Challenge’s chorus to No’s giddy handclaps and warped doo-wop, and it’s deeply enjoyable to submit and let them take you down the rabbit hole. Equally, Menne’s lyrics are poetic and open to multiple readings, allowing us the luxury of revisiting the songs with fresh eyes.

By the time Fade bounds into its chorus its words have taken on a reflexive bent. “Wore down this shine,” Menne sings. “As looping back seems to make it grow duller.” Not this time. Not by a long stretch, in fact. ‘Plastic Cough’ is a loud, confrontational record that does great things thanks a generous side of wit and subtlety. That’s not likely to get old.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

Nice Electricity: Inside Jawbone's Sizzling Old School Debut
Wed 14 Nov 2018
Photo: Rob Blackham Sometimes an album arrives from out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet. There’s something new, yet familiar, about its melodies, its heart-warming immediacy and the effortless chemistry that oozes from the bewitching songs within. We’re basically talking the musical equivalent of love at first sight, which is exactly what fans of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and American roots music will doubtless feel after hearing Jawbone’s quietly magnificent self-titled bow.
Boygenius - Boygenius (Album Review)
Tue 13 Nov 2018
Photo: Lera Pentelute Supergroup is a big, ugly label. It’s reductive, and it ramps up the pressure on what is always a new endeavour—even if the players are seasoned pros. Friction is naturally created by expectations rubbing up against the mechanics of making music in a fresh formation, often leading to overhyped records that feel like a tired exhalation of breath from their first note.
'We Wanted To Reach People on a Personal Level': Pijn Discuss The Genre-Defying Power Of 'Loss'
Mon 12 Nov 2018
A striking development in the past decade or so has been the extent to which people discover music through mood as opposed to genre. Streaming services have adapted to perceived consumer demand by releasing reams of playlists tailored to every emotion or context imaginable, from deeply depressed to “songs to sing to in the car”. This has its upsides and downsides for a band like Pijn.
Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers - Bought To Rot (Album Review)
Thu 22 Nov 2018
‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! Record. Repeat: ‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! record. Laura Jane Grace might be among friends on her first album with the Devouring Mothers—the roll call does feature drummer Atom Willard and engineer Marc Jacob Hudson, both holdovers from her day job—but the focus is very different.
Mick Jenkins - Pieces Of A Man (Album Review)
Tue 20 Nov 2018
Mick Jenkins was riding the crest of a wave when his breakout mixtape 'The Water[s]' dropped in the summer of 2014. Talented heads like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname and Saba would all go on to emerge from the same bubbling Chicago hip-hop scene, but Jenkins had positioned himself in critics' minds as the moody and technically gifted older brother. He already appeared fully formed in an artistic sense, framing highly conceptual songwriting with jazz-influenced verses and a raspy vocal delivery.
 
< Prev   Next >