Granite Rose: Worlds Apart

By: AJ Sugar

I’m cheating on this review. I will fess up, I have heard this album already. Granite Rose is another great local level band that I am honored to call good friends of mine. We played a show together in their hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin the night that they got the final mixes of their disc ‘Worlds Apart’ back from the studio. After the show, my band was invited to stay with them, and of course, crank up the tracks that not even they had heard yet. At this point, I need to confess more… I remember very much enjoying the songs, but in all honesty, after several vodka drinks that night, I am comfortable calling this review my ‘first’ listen.

As of the time of writing, this disc is not out yet, but I was able to poke, prod, and Facebook message my way into procuring an advance copy of it. If all goes to plan, you can listen to it online by the time this is published. If not, feel free to complain to my twitter, I will probably give you a retweet for your trouble. Anyways, let’s assume it’s online and there will be a handy embedded link below this and get on with the review, yeah?

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Granite Rose has always been a great band to watch live and holy hell, they pull it off on their recordings as well. The sound quality is astonishing on this disc, which is always a hit or miss with local level bands. You can save thousands by recording in a basement with a MacBook and GarageBand, but it’s going to sound like it was done in a basement… with a MacBook and GarageBand. If I didn’t know better, I would assume that my iTunes was glitching and somehow found an FM tuner and locked in the local rock station.

Musically, this is straight up rock and roll. It’s riff-tastic, catchy, and badass. But it’s not fake. You can feel genuine emotion in the songs; this isn’t written for radio, this is what the band was really feeling, and it comes across beautifully. That’s one of the amazing things about ‘local’ music, there is no pressure to write a hit or something ‘marketable’. I’m not downplaying those prospects of these songs, but this just feels real. There is a great diversity to the music also, one song is all about the guitar riff, the next is deep lyrics, and all of the sudden you are listening to ‘Friends All Around’, a track that would make Andrew W.K. buy the bar a round of drinks.

Honestly, these six songs are an awesome ride, but it left me wanting more. Maybe that’s a good thing though? Yes. I’ve decided, it is a good thing. Let’s all put this disc on repeat, grab a beer, and remember what rock and roll is supposed to be.

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