Grand Ole Party | Humanimals (DH)

cd_grand-ole-party.jpgEven after several listens, I never really got over my Yeah Yeah Yeahs déjà vu.







I must be the devil’s daughter
What a dark father to dwell in me
Bastard child that I am
Oh, you can see it in my swagger
In the palmist’s lines of my hands
in my lips that bud like daggers
Look out young son
when I bloom you’ll come a-crawling.

So begins the debut album Humanimals by Grand Ole Party, a blues-ier version of fellow female-fronted three-piece Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The two bands actually played together in February 2006, a show that I can only imagine must have been like listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs open for themselves. Grand Ole Party singer and drummer Kristin Gundred growls and yips like valedictorian of the Karen O School for Front Women. Dark-haired, smoky-eyed Gundred even looks like O. This is all great news if you’re a Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan. Huzzah, a new band you know you’ll love.

Even after several listens, I never really got over my YYY déjà vu. All of the reviews I scanned online praise Grand Ole Party up and down. But I find it funny that most writers focus on the band members’ profiles, and their meteoric rise from San Diego darlings to Coachella-bound national touring act. What about the music?

My final verdict is that it’s rock solid. Jazz- and classically trained Gundred has an amazing voice. Bassist Mike Krechnyak and guitarist John Paul Labno rock it out fiercely. And there are a lot of really great songs on this album, like the rollicking "Redrum Heart" with its "ooo, ooo, ooo’s," tambourine and hip-shaking beat. Track after track, Gundred’s lyrics paint vivid pictures of pain and alcoholism and foreboding.

But I’d still rather listen to Fever to Tell. A- | Rebecca Reardon

RIYL: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Paybacks, Feist

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