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coverpic flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 100 - 11/26/04

Hand Offensive

From the hometown - the birthplace - of barbed wire: Dekalb, Illinois, comes Grenadier. Presenting their debut album called Hand Offensive. A home-recorded american indie-rock platter which I got from out of nowhere. Luckily enough, because this is indeed a pleasant surprise.

The three multi-instrumental grenadiers are: Jeremy Heroldt (vocals, guitar, bass and keys), Mark Mattson (guitar, vox, bass, banjo, keys), and Craig Swafford (drums, vocals, horns, vox, guitar, keys and assorted synthetic noises). Jeremy has written the 11 tracks making up the 37 minutes of rotation time placing Grenadier (at least between my ears) somwhere between Beatnik Filmstars, Pavement, Guided By Voices (Rob Pollard is one of Jeremy Heroldt's heros. Note that Jeremy is a gym teacher who leads a double life as a rocker - say no more...), Small (or Small 23), and Built To Spill. To name a few names that spring to mind. Maybe mainly a mixture of the first two names.

After giving this disc a few spins it gets better and better. Especially the latter half of the album. What strikes me as interesting is Grenadiers approach to the arrangement of their songs, and the sounds they add to them. They just beam out perfect laidbackness, not pretending to maintain their cool. They just seem to be cool.

"Death Ray" is a fine opener. Then there's "Karma See Thru". And the slow-powered "Powerless". One of my fave tracks is the the quick and poppy "Gods of Gravity". A brilliant indie rocker, before the more dazed beauty of "Way To Close" unveils with its cool guitars, keys and horns. "Smile Away Pt 2" follows the quickstep path of "Gods of Gravity". Neat. And it tumbles straight into "Sucker List", which is the toughest song of the album. Really kicking and rolling!

"Listen Now" quiets things down a bit as the album's closening track, and maybe it brings out the motto for this record. Listen now! Check out the barbed wired pop guided by Grenadier.

Copyright © 2004 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Grenadier article/review: Grenadier.

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