Hearing Aide: Grand Gesture ‘King of Cups’

All in all, it’s a wholesome, laid back  and refreshingly straightforward collection. The album holds a  psychedelic feel without bombarding listeners with abstract and unnatural sounds that tend to come with the genre, and not doing so takes a considerable amount of talent. It’s well produced, diverse and catchy – something the group harps on in their biographies.

Grand Gesture hails from Brooklyn and are best described as a combination of Talking Heads, Lou Reed, The Pixies, the Grateful Dead. They don’t copy the sound of these historical groups, but there are hints of their inspirations found throughout all of their tracks. They range from a fairly heavy rock drive to a plain and simple folk jam, and listeners might hope that they take a more aggressive route with their tone in any forthcoming album because tracks based off that formula leave more of an impact that their lighthearted tracks, if they were to ever drop another album.  Examples of this style are found predominantly in “King of Cups.” One of the highlights is a dueling guitar breakdown that’s very Allman Brothers-like along with a funky and heavy guitar solo played through a fuzzy and distorted amps.

“Straw In My Sock” is another key track that had a more forceful tone which keeps listeners engaged. Their songs don’t rise and fall as much as other psychedelic rock songs do, so songs like “Wildflower” seem to drone on a bit. With the more intense tone, listeners feel more immersed into the music. This feeling could also only be only true when listening to the recording. They claim, “The band aims to write songs with pop song precision, yet they have a deep respect for improvisation so it’s not uncommon for the material to take on new directions in the live setting.”

“Hey Okay” has a cool ‘skipping’ feel to it with more of those dueling guitars everyone loved from the Allman Brothers. It’s funky and technically with great direction and precision. It’s a song that would be an absolutely blast to see live as there’s so many fantastic opportunities to vamp and mess around.

It is undoubtedly feel good music and would make a perfect fit for a live setting in an intimate bar or concert hall. The album is available on their website and Spotify and show no sign of any live performances this year, but will post upcoming events on their Facebook page. 

Key tracks: King of Cups, Straw in My Sock, Hey Okay