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Album Review

On its debut EP, Buffalo's Grand National rides top-shelf production and a penchant for crackling hooks all the way into the winner's circle. The Posies are an obvious reference point, mostly because Grand National has that same soft spot for sweet vocal harmony and isn't afraid to temper its more rollicking indie pop ("Had It in My Head") with airy psychedelia-tinged balladry ("Disappointed"). And it might be just a projection of guilty pleasure, but do the harmonies on "Shoegazer" sound Boston-influenced? They very well could be. Like Kingsize's simple, yet supereffective cover art, Grand National's music is immediately American, and unabashedly egalitarian in its choice of influences. Like Fountains of Wayne, who care little for where their music comes from as long as it rocks when it gets there, the boys in Grand National will pull spare musical parts from any decade in their quest to build the ultimate rock & roll thrill machine. The Kingsize EP is their schematic for what's to come.


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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Kingsize, Grand National
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