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Secret Rooms

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Album Review

Gran Ronde may hail from the West Coast, but they bear a striking resemblance to New York City's the Bravery, right down to lead singer Christopher Pearson's double take-inducing similarity to Bravery frontman Sam Endicott. This shouldn't be interpreted as mere imitation — Gran Ronde is indeed its own band, and each of the members has the musical aptitude to show for it. The group's debut album, Secret Rooms, opens strong with "On and On," a song that is urgent and even subtly aggressive. It's a combination that is quickly established as an integral part of Gran Ronde's sound, and also marks the group as a tight, clear ensemble. Pearson and lead guitarist Neil Parek work in tandem to achieve shimmering effects, and the rhythm section of Bryan Hobbs (bass) and Fernando Sanchez (drums) keeps the band grounded without bogging it down. Though most of Secret Rooms tends toward a bleak, melancholy sound, the album's lighter numbers ("Say Say Say," "Wisdom," and "Come Together") provide bright, lush variation that makes it an enjoyable listen. However, there is one complaint about Secret Rooms that cannot be helped by musicianship. While the album is good and the band is capable, the track placement leaves a bit to be desired; the aforementioned lighter numbers could have been more evenly distributed, and the frenetic closer "Run Me Over" should have been placed in the middle or beginning of the album. Instead of an attempt to make the group stand out from its peers, the song serves as a strong reminder of the similarities between Gran Ronde and their contemporaries. In a way, it's a shame that the group's sound and style is both their greatest strength and liability; they're a talented ensemble, but those who would accuse them of merely aping their counterparts wouldn't be completely baseless in their accusations. That said, while Gran Ronde doesn't set itself apart from other new wave/post-punk revivalists, the band is very good at what it does.

Customer Reviews

Impressive debut

Great album. Awesome riffs - this band will hit it big!

Not Like The Bravery, better

it's a multi-layered album. rock stuff, atmospheric stuff, always melodic and lyrically interesting.


I listen to yalls songs all Da Time..


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Named after a river in vocalist/guitarist Christopher Pearson's home state of Oregon, New Wave/post-punk revivalists Gran Ronde got their start in 2004. Based in Los Angeles, Pearson, Bryan Hobbs (bass), Fernando Sanchez (drums) and Neil Parek (guitar) performed at SXSW in March 2008 and released...
Full Bio
Secret Rooms, Gran Ronde
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Customer Ratings