The problem with bands from Melbourne is, well… there are too many of them. As I’ve discovered accidentally stumbling upon bands in a live setting many a time, some gems are bound to pass under the radar. One such outfit is Grand Perceptor.
The three-piece describe themselves as ‘terror-rock’, a genre they’ve coined on their own, and despite sounding like something a bad hardcore band might refer their music as, is not at all what you would expect. Visions of devils and fire aside, it is more about a dark, crunching, alternative rock sound and themes related to the idea of doom; topics covered vary from alien invasions to terrorist attacks.
Often a band’s debut EP will have one – maybe two – really memorable tracks, offering a glimmer of potential; a starting point for the band to build and evolve from. Invasions, however, does not have a single mediocre moment. The band spin from the Mexican-flavoured sounds of opening track ‘Ceasefire’, to the slow-building, rumbling ‘The Water Song’, all the while maintaining a taunting and dangerous yet catchy sound. Distorted guitars and thumping drums pave the soundtrack to stealing a Harley Davidson and speeding off down an endless highway in the dead of the night.
Full of edge and attitude, the five tracks twist, pulsate and explode, topped by the furious vocals and sinister lyrics of Old World Sparrow. The frontman has an interesting voice, one which shakes with both desperation and menace. He whispers, spits and teeters on the brink of hysterical squeals, as if possessed by mad spirits, particularly when he repeats the ascending line “I am inside of you” in ‘The Water Song’.
It’s refreshing to hear a new band ditching the age-old girls + parties lyrical content, opting instead for lines about ‘nicotine Jesus’’ and ‘revolution drugs’. Also of note is the top-notch recording. There is a gritty live feel, but the tracks are so well produced you can hear every element in the mix, all the way down to a faint tambourine.
I’ve been listening to Invasions for over a month now. Truth is, once you’ve put it on it’s incredibly difficult to turn off. With a clear sense of identity Grand Perceptor have penned a sound distinctively their own, and one I won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.
You’ll dig this if you like: Queens of the Stone Age, The Vasco Era, The White Stripes.