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Grand Blue Heron - Come Again

  by Adrian Janes

published: 3 / 11 / 2018

Grand Blue Heron - Come Again
Label: Jezus Factory
Format: CD


Powerful and fiercely performed second album from energetic Belgian rockers Grand Blue Heron

Following up 2015’s ‘Hatch’, Grand Blue Heron have delivered another varied batch of guitar-laden attacks. Forceful bass leads off opening track ‘WWYDS’ (What Would Your Daddy Say?)', Paul Lamont’s drawled vocals a calm sneer at the centre of a sonic storm. The title track itself is speedy and spacious, and has a sweeping, powerful guitar line to match Lamont’s impassioned singing. On ‘Head’, the combination of a highly distorted riff and Olivier Wychuyse’s nimble but strong drumming makes for a not greatly original but still worthy chunk of American-style rock in the manner of Gozu. ‘Hatch’ brought comparisons with Joy Division, and they’re inevitable when it comes to ‘Iron Milk’, whose rhythm and riff suggest ‘Transmission’, except played by Motorhead. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful and fiercely performed song. With tracks sporting the titles ‘The Cult’ and ‘The Killing Joke’, whether or not they’re intended as some kind of tribute, they are bands you might well consider to be amongst Grand Blue Heron’s influences. If there might be something to support that notion on ‘The Cult’, where at times Lamont’s voice resembles Jim Morrison’s rougher edge (via Ian Astbury fronting the Doors of the 21st Century), there’s no resemblance at all to Jaz Coleman and the boys on ‘The Killing Joke’. In fact the latter is the most strikingly impressive and atmospheric track on the whole album: with drums drenched in reverb and penetrated by a melancholy guitar, Lamont’s voice resembles Morrison at his most world-weary. I’d have liked to have heard more of this approach from him. ‘War on Ra’ finds the band throwing everything they’ve got at the unfortunate Egyptian deity. It’s repetitive, but it again demonstrates the band’s impressive musical muscularity. ‘Zero Six on Six’ switches approach, featuring an eerily fluttering treated guitar and some particularly inventive drumming. Perhaps fittingly for an album called ‘Come Again’, ‘Chlamydia’ rounds things off. It’s one of the harshest sounding tracks, from the off a furious onslaught of guitars, slammed drums and somewhat tuneless vocals which at one point seem to be declaiming the odd lyrics “Bless your phones/Bless chlamydia”. But the overriding feeling is of the most urgent of public health warnings, indeed what Killing Joke might come up with at their least subtle if they were to front the campaign. Although ‘Come Again’ isn’t in the first rank of rock albums, there’s more than enough energy and skilful playing here to make it worth coming back to, again and again.

Track Listing:-
1 Head
2 Chlamydia
3 Zero 6 Oh Six
4 Come Again
5 Wwyds
6 Iron Milk
7 The Killing Joke
8 The Cult
9 War on Ra

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