Making it in the vicious music world can mean many twists and turns. That is certainly representative of GRENOUER, a Russian band from St. Petersburg. In their 16 year history they’ve been through 3 record labels, shared the same stage as Anathema, Soilwork, Entombed and more, and evolved from death metal to prog metal to metalcore to where they are now as a hard rock band. The latter motion cost them their rhythm section so their latest release, the 5-track Computer Crime EP, arrives with 2 new band members.
Download: GRENOUER ‘Rejected’
Besides my admiration for underground perseverance, the journey is not more important than the present. GRENOUER starts with the repetitive, lonely statement of, “I’m driving alone again,” which, as a consequence of reading their biography, made me romanticize a battle-scarred singer leaving the wasteland of the past on a road through a desert to a destination unknown. GRENOUER, at least, is making music on solid ground. That track, ‘Last Stop’, is hard but accessible, carrying a good build into a soaring chorus. ‘Rejected’ maintains promise with a beat that made my head chug along. ”See No Sun’ is the first single but not my favourite. It’s a ballad that could do with more chord changes but, as a whole, offering variety to the album. Interestingly, the vocals sound German accented, a touch Scorpionish. ‘Fix Your Life’ doesn’t supercede my favouritism for the first 2 songs but it uses guitar well in its climax. ‘Golden Years’ is a better ballad, pleasant with melody and acoustic guitar. It could have been spectacular if they’d made a bigger ending, throwing in extra instruments, but it’s a song they seem very comfortable in so it wouldn’t surprise me if their path to gentler music continues.
Lyrically, they require more depth but considering they’re Russian i’d have to consider it a job well done. After all, my knowledge of a single Russian swear word will not have me composing Russian poetry anytime soon…well, ever:)
GRENOUER’s Computer Crime is promising. It was a nice surprise in my Inbox. The music industry may be difficult and in disarray but a decade ago my South African ears would never have gotten to hear this band. Thank you, Internet.