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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Album Review: The Grand Astoria - Omnipresence (With Free Download)

As also seen on The Klepto's Guide:

The folks of the stoner/doom rocking band The Grand Astoria have been kind enough to send me a copy of their band new album, Omnipresence, launching today. And while The Soda Shop beat me to it, you came to hear what The Klepto has to say, and I will not let you down, so here it goes.

Now that I've heard their first two albums, I'm a little better versed in this group, and my first impressions of the album is that this is a bit of a different record. It's got more varied sounds and influences, many of which are much blatantly mixed into the music. The first track, "Doomsday Party," is a rock 'n roller, closer to something The Atomic Bitchwax would release, while the next song. "Hungry & Foolish," is a grooving straight-forward stoner song. The third song, "Mania Grandiosa," sounds straight off of a Black Sabbath album, think "Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots" off of Paranoid and you would have a perfect idea of the sound of the song (mostly in the beginning and with the vocals throughout, but you get the idea). Then the next song, the instrumental "Omni-absence," is a return to the previously known style of the band. The rest of Omnipresence jumps around all of these styles until track 7, "The Song of Hope," which is downright funk, fucking weird. The album is all over, but it works, it really works. It's the right measure of eclecticness and bitchin' music that makes it sound amazing.

I think the change in the style of naming their albums helps one to visualize this change in sound. With their first two albums being self-titled, you can sort of know what to expect. You liked The Grand Astoria (album)? Then you're going to love The Grand Astoria II. With naming their third album something different, I think they are subconsciously letting their changes in style be known, however slight. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but this is why I make the big bucks.

Anyway, I know the year just started (a whopping 12 hours ago), but Omnipresence is already a solid contender for the 'Best of 2011.' It's eccentric mix of styles throughout the album keep it fresh for the entire hour (almost). Obviously I'll have to give it another listen or four before next December, but this is a great way to start the year off.


And yes, I did say "Free Download" in the banner! These amazing Russian musicians have decided to distribute their album for 100% free across the web! I was emailed directly from Камиль Шараподинов (he(??) says his name is Kamille, so you translate the rest for me) and given the download code and instructed to distribute it to the masses. So this is for you folks!

DOWNLOAD - Sendspace
DOWNLOAD - MediaFire

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