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Friday, May 17, 2013

Grammatrain -- Lonely House

 photo MI0001652807_zpsf2d08cfa.jpg

Like a lot of kids, I looked up to my older cousins. This can be trouble if your older cousins are deviants, but thankfully, mine weren't. One in particular, who I will simply refer to as The Lieutenant, became my music guru. The Lieutenant loved rock music and had a vast array of classic and modern rock knowledge. He also had the most impressive Christian Rock collection I have ever seen, though it was stolen by someone acting particularly awful during the summer of 2000. Another cousin my age who I've referenced before, The Rabbit, and I spent countless hours jamming out to awesome music in The Lieutenant's car, as he showed us band after awesome band. Grammatrain was one of those bands.
Grammatrain's debut album, Lonely House, is a groovy, jammy rock album with some punk, metal, and grunge influences. It rocks pretty hard, and the brother-composed rhythm section really sets the tone. I realize something about this album now, though. Back in the 90's, we ("we" stands in for my awesome crew) often said, "Yeah, Grammatrain, Lonely House!" and proceeded to rock out to the first few tracks. Lonely House is a very long album for this type of music. Thirteen tracks with five broaching five minutes or more is a lot of groovy jamming. I think, somewhere around the middle, we often forgot we'd put Lonely House on, and moved to something else. Lonely House gets into something good, and keeps doing that good thing, but it's a WHOLE lot of that good thing. Lockstep grooves and guitar solos only go so far. The highlights for me are when the band sort of go off the reservation, which doesn't happen much, but usually results in something special. My particular favorite is the slow building release of "Need,"

, though the quiet seething of album closer, "Apathy" is also quite satisfying. The latter song also contains the lyrical nugget, "I guess I'm just not good enough for Christ to shake my hand/I was born below you and I'll try to understand," aimed obviously at someone who is too big for their britches. And on that archaic "britches" reference, I'll end this review with the observation that I still pull out Lonely House to jam and relive the good ole days, but once I get to track eight, I usually skip ahead to "Apathy" and then call it a night. I've still gotten a good half hour of music, and good vibes to last a week.

1995 Forefront Records
1. She Don't Know 2:32
2. Believe 3:36
3. Execution 3:56
4. Lonely House 5:43
5. Psycho 5:42
6. Sick of Will 3:01
7. Need 6:28
8. Drown 3:55
9. Undivine Election 3:35
10. Jerky Love Song 0:40
11. Humanity 4:24
12. Picture Pains 6:32
13. Apathy 2:58

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