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Grand Astoria, The: From The Great Beyond

The Grand Astoria are without a doubt one of my favourite Russian bands. Forming in 2009, the Saint Petersburg band have a number of EPs, live albums, and full lengths to their credit. This review covers their 2021 release From The Great Beyond.

The EP features six tracks and approximately thirty-three minutes of music. The disc opens with the title track and its sweet acoustic guitar and swishing synthesizers. The slightly accented vocals are excellent and is one of the band’s many strongpoints. The keyboards add a certain amount of spaciness as they percolate through the soundscape. The vocals are catchy and there is a psychedelic vibe at work here, very easy on the ears. The prog-psych of “Wasteland” is heavier and more up-tempo with an outstanding keyboard solo, and on the ten minute “Njanatiloka”, a hefty guitar riff and clever change ups will take you on a highly enjoyable journey through psychedelic flavoured progressive rock. The flute adds some Tull-like folky undercurrents which is always welcome in my book. More flute can be heard on “Anyhow”, and the banjo (yes, you read that right) is exceptionally played. A sort of progressive psych blues sound and it all hangs together amazingly well. The ending track “Ten Years Anniversary Riff” is short but effective with its hugely distorted fuzzed out guitar.

From The Great Beyond is another highly enjoyable release from one of the best bands you never heard of. I recommend all music fans check them out.

Track Listing:
1. From The Great Beyond
2. Wasteland
3. Njanatiloka
4. Us Against The World
5. Anyhow
6. Ten Years Anniversary Riff

Added: September 1st 2023
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 388
Language: english

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