All needle chic and nasty attitude, they're the living embodiment of every rock'n'roll clichi ever to have crawled out of New York town, but none the worse for it...
Put it this way, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to guess where they’re from. There are five of them, including a guitarist who’s heard hair cleans itself after a while and a singer whose face is so thin it could squeeze through prison bars. Three songs in, and they’re having a stab at the ultimate junkie’s anthem ‘Chinese Rocks’, just in case anyone hasn’t guessed yet.
Comprising various ex-members of ST JOHNNY, DWARVES and 16 DELUXE, GRAND MAL are from New York City. All needle chic and nasty attitude, they’re the living embodiment of every rock’n’roll clichi ever to have crawled out of that town, but none the worse for it. Their new album, ‘Maledictions’, was produced by MERCURY REV‘s DAVE FRIDMANN, but still sounds exactly like you knew (and hoped) it would: a note-perfect smack-rock collision of JOHNNY THUNDERS and THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, with a little HAPPY MONDAYS thrown in just to confuse people.
Tonight, they do the Mary Chain part. Specifically, ‘Superstars’, ‘Out On Bail’ and ‘Whole Lotta Nothing’: three songs that rattle forward with the same car-crash guitars and keyboard drones, before collapsing into dense, spinning feedback. You’ve seen it all before, but so what? To pull it off this well requires a special sort of genius. Just not necessarily your own.