Music To Eat Lunch To – Grand:PM – Party in Your Basement

Release date: October 30, 2007

Label: Curve Music

Tracks: 11

Rating: 7

A collaboration between the Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, and modern AFI might have produced a record very similar to this one released by Canadian quartet Grand:PM.

The classical vocal and piano of front man Paul Mayer came together with the punk roots of drummer Jeff Moore, guitarist and vocalist Paul Hicken, and bassist Dustin Wood. When the four came together, Mayer traded his piano for the keyboard and the other three band members abandoned what they felt were badly written punk rock songs for something that involved a hell of a lot more synthesizer.

Under the production guidance of Ziad Al-Hillal, Grand:PM morphed into a band whose priority was the guitar and basic rock aspect of music with synthesizers and keyboards thrown in for good measure. The songs are still rather heavy on synthesized sounds, however, and Party in Your Basement sounds like what would happen if Depeche Mode had formed 25 years later.

Tracks change back and forth from the average pop-rock sound to the unexpected, ultra-pop approach to music that resulted in Grand:PM’s title track and ?One More??two essentially inane songs that nevertheless rope you in and make you feel like dancing under a disco ball.

The band has perfected both the mellow sing-along songs and the dance tracks that could happily be pumped through the speakers at a club, and while it seems that the influence of Paul Mayer and Ziad Al-Hillal shines through more than that of anyone else throughout the record, songs like ?Back in the River? pay a small tribute to the Clash and the early punk-rock sound. More than anything, Grand:PM is something you might call a techno-rock band.

The star tracks of this album are fairly diverse in their composition: ?Stephanie,? ?Party in Your Basement,? and ?Back in the River? are respectively reminiscent of The Killers, Cake, and the Clash. Despite one or two particularly fast-paced songs, the overall feel of the album is quite mellow?this is the kind of record you might play on a long thoughtful drive for the sake of some compassionate company.

All in all the songwriting and execution are flawless; if you are a fan of the burgeoning techo-rock genre and bands like Franz Ferdinand then this is a record you should definitely be picking up.

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