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Grand Astoria, The: Le Belle Epoque

The Grand Astoria formed in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2009 and have released a fair amount of material up untill 2015. I am not sure if the band is still around but what I have heard is really good. I recently reviewed their EP titled Deathmarch (2009) and The Mighty Few (2014), both excellent discs. This is a review of their 2014 effort titled La Belle Epoque.

The band play psych flavoured rock, mixed in with a little prog, alternative rock and jam band styles. It’s both catchy and very well played, this band is really quite talented. The vocalist has a tuneful and melodic voice, a definite highlight throughout. The first track “Henry’s Got A Gun”, perhaps a play on words on the Aerosmith hit, starts with clean guitar soon adding a little distortion and solid lead vocals. A bit of a boogie flavour here, the groove makes a powerful statement. The riffs are as addictive as they come. “The Answer” begins with banjo and vocals, joined by a tasty guitar solo. The vocals are again superb with the backing vox being quite dreamy. The mellow turns heavy as fuzz drenched guitar enters the soundscape before ending with the beginning banjo motif. Just an excellent track. The title track offers a mellow psychedelic vibe as clean vocals, flute and guitar offer up another earworm. A total change in direction has the band upping the tempo adding pulsating and swirling effects on the guitar and venturing into space rock territory. Another very cool track. Other highlights include the heavy bluesy rock of “Gravity Bong” featuring cool guitar riffs and the rocking “Serpent And The Garden Of Eden” where the blistering riffs, psychedelic jamming and progressive touches merge into one great track.

The Grand Astoria is definitely one of the best bands to come out of Russia these past few years. One can only hope we hear more from them in the future. Absolutely highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Henry’s Got A Gun
2. The Answer
3. La Belle Epoque
4. Gravity Bong
5. Serpent And The Garden Of Eden
6. Lisbon Fuzzborn
7. Charming

Added: March 23rd 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 153
Language: english

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