Genres are odd things. Bands, or their homogenous publicists, are found of such categorisations as it used to make it easier to market the music. However, it is also the way of today to have a genre for everything so none of that really helps the consumer figure out if a band might be of interest. So, in a somewhat crude segue, that takes us to American alt-rock band GrandEvolution and the task of figuring out if their album “Tell Me Why” could be of interest.
The first thing that strikes me about this album is just how laidback it seems. There are no maximum volume histrionics to be found anywhere in these nine songs with the emphasis instead being in telling a story and, while the mood of that story is indeed downbeat, this doesn’t actually put the album on the path to depression. That said, it soon becomes clear that GrandEvolution’s music is much more of the shadows rather of the sunshine with Sarah Kenyon’s ever present voice spray painting emotion on the songs with low key verisimilitude.
This is an interesting approach as you can sense that behind her voice is a greater musical drama that sometimes surfaces in some pleasantly muscular guitar work from Ray Celona – as in “Destroy” or “Wish You Well” – to provide a pleasing counterpoint to her restraint. It takes some courage for a band of these times to underplay its hand as much as GrandEvolution do and that is, perversely, what makes this band of interest. GrandEvolution make music that seems designed not to impress but to persuade and that may well find them favour with more mature ears.