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B-Sides, Remixes & Rarities

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Album Review

At a point when many bands are attempting to try on various sections of the U.K. post-punk scene for size, Grand National have been quietly staking out a nice career updating and refining one neglected section of that time and place. Every Grand National release since 2004's Kicking the National Habit should include a nice little thank you to Mike Alway, the A&R head of Cherry Red Records in the early '80s, because it's his aesthetic, as shown through the label's signing of acts like Eyeless in Gaza, Felt, Everything But the Girl and pretty much everyone on the canonical label compilation Pillows & Prayers, that Grand National take as their musical starting point. For most bands, this sort of gathering of single and EP sides, compilation tracks and remixes is redundant, but over the first three years of their career, Grand National have perfected a hugely appealing blend of subtle electronics, languid acoustic and jangly electric guitars, propulsive basslines and whispery vocals that makes B-Sides, Remixes & Rarities as enjoyable a collection as any of their proper albums.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '00s

As Grand National, the duo of Rupert Lyddon and Lawrence Rudd combines the electro-pop of bands like New Order and Depeche Mode with sweet harmonies and laid-back grooves. The two first met in a Police tribute band based out of London. Rupert eventually became friends with the band Primal Scream and was offered some free studio time from the group. Whenever the Scream weren't actively working on their upcoming XTRMNTR album, Lyddon and Rudd were busy recording their own tunes and becoming Grand National....
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B-Sides, Remixes & Rarities, Grand National
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