A Drink + A Quick Decision by GRAND NATIONAL – Album Review

grand national

Break out the whiskey glasses, throw in the ice and take a huge swig of this intoxicating new album from the duo that is Grand National.

Incorporating the talents of Rupert Lyddon and Lawrence ‘La’ Rudd, both hailing from London, Grand National is quite the enigma. They possess a momentous sound with intricate layers – which is as deceptive as it is intriguing.

According to Rudd, Lyddon is the production genius who does all the ‘scientific twiddling’. He single-handedly creates a rich and vast musical resonance which is understandably, mistaken by listeners as coming from a whole concord of musicians within the band, whereas in actual fact, individuals like Jamie Norton fill in the musical blanks. This organic process of musical reverberation is completed by Rudd’s impressive vocal capabilities that stamp Grand National with a distinctive voice and idiosyncratic lyrics.

Their latest album A Drink & A Quick Decision was already in the writing stage even before their first album Kicking The National Habit was released worldwide in 2004, due to the debut’s promotion being spread out over a period of 2 years. This seemingly measured release has also enabled Grand National to adhere to their fans earnest demands for a live show. It was no doubt a daunting task to transform an eclectic instrumental mix of recorded sound to the live stage, however Grand National managed it and Rudd admits that, “the more we gigged the better it got… the live show elevates the tracks off the album.”

A Drink & A Quick Decision has been voted by Billboard in the top 25 Indie Albums of the Year and their tantalising and addictive track, “By The Time I Get Home There Won’t Be Much Of A Place For Me”, has been doing the rounds on Triple J.

This album is a flow of delectable tracks that highlight Grand National’s ability to be contemporary yet timeless in the one breath. A chief theme throughout a majority of the tracks is the piano that constantly demands attention with its impressive keys pulsating and throbbing.

The tracks ‘Going To Switch The Lights On’ and ‘New Space To Throw’ are remnants of a period in time in which the duo where members of a covers band of The Police. Instrumentally and vocally Sting’s influence is evident – a homage to the sound and brilliance of The Police. Quirky lyrics and catchy tunes resonate through ‘Close Approximation’ until the album signs off on a raw and heartfelt rendition of Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ recorded live at Bushwick Studios, Brooklyn, New York.

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