Grand Champeen, The One That Brought You (Glurp)
Thank God some people are still making rock ‘n’ roll that’s smothered in fuzz. Grand Champeen slather everything in the stuff so even a boogie like “The Rest of the Night” has so many sludgey, honking guitars that their take on honkey-tonk sounds original, young and vital.
Elsewhere, on “Paid Vacation,” they pull off the best cop of Superchunk I’ve ever heard. The magnificently over-driven bass and guitars will capture the casual carelessness of Jason Loewenstein’s best moments in Sebadoh.
Grand Champeen aren’t merely a regurgitation of great indie styles. Their delivery — so on edge it sounds like a perfectly-produced live show — surpasses their contemporaries by miles. Their innate fuzziness adds to the over-the-top live feeling.
Their amalgam of Southern rock, indie rock and punk is one of their own invention. Depending on the song, the guitars can trade tuneful licks or cacophonous squelching.
When they balance their edgy delivery with a superior tune, like in “More than Just a Friday,” the results leave you breathless.
Most surprisingly, even when the group plays a piano ballad (“Step Into My Heart”), they do so with so many criss-crossing guitar lines that the result crackles with energy. The song proves that Grand Champeen can downshift and still manage to make four minutes sound like two.
Loaded with fourteen tracks, the album is simply too full of goodness. every song is so beefy that they could have easily trimmed four and still had a meaty album. The closer “Fakin’ It” hums with the same energy as the opener, “The Good Slot.” Its twangy yet fuzzy guitars refute everything clean and economical coming out of NYC. Grand Champeen pioneer their own fierce, dirty Southern rock and kick Yankee ass for thirty-nine minutes.