Grande Luxe
Time Measured in Bitter Chapters

1. Broken
2. In to the void
3. Cold
4. Say something
5. Lay
6. Lucid
7. Save me
8. Love machine
9. Buried

Bass - Per Lönnberg
Vocals - Anders Lidgren
Drums - Lars Lundström
Guitar - Mattias Eklund



Mixed by Mattias Eklund and Niklas Flyckt

Released 24/8-2011
Reviewed 1/8-2011


A Swedish band called Grande Luxe, can that be something? Well, they do have a blue cover with some guy sitting in a very ventilated office where other comforts than a good breeze of fresh air seem to be secondary. They also have an album that is called Time Measured in Bitter Chapters which is a bit odd since I thought it was measured in hours, minutes and seconds mostly, but I guess his office plays by other rules. The album does not have ten tracks as seem to be rather customary. Which means that there are potential for it being good judging by these parameters.

It is musically pompous rock music that has gone melancholic, that is a description I think suits this kind of music very well. The arrangements are pompous and grande while the vocals are powerful yet very melancholic creating a downbeat, downtuned sound which I think can be seen as laden with emotion that is burning to get out. The singer’s voice is also very clean making his voice a very distinct element in the musical image. For me it feels as though the band has been listening quite a bit to Radiohead as that is the first band that comes to mind when trying to figure out similar bands. Their production is modern and clean and also brings me to think of Radiohead, but the band is definitely no copy but I would assume that they are quite inspired by said band.

Another thing I come to think of is Porcupine Tree, they also remind me of them, which at least have them presumably taking inspiration from bands that I like so at least in theory I could expect something good. It starts with a track called Broken which leads into the album in a really good way, it is a good track and it also is very explanatory of what to expect on the album. It is in many ways hard to imagine that this is a debut album as it is so well done and so mature in every possible way and the nine tracks and about 37 minutes of music run by quite fast I would say, it is not difficult to listen to this album over and over and over again, it is that good.

There are several tracks that should be mentioned by name as being really great, like track four Say Something which is just an excellent mellow track that is just wonderful to listen to, and the one before called Cold is also great and the same goes for track five Lay and also track six Lucid, these are all excellent tracks and add a lot of value to this album. In fairness though, all the tracks on the album are really great and that is probably due to the band really working out this balancing act between the grande and the melancholic. I would say that the balance they have found just works perfectly from start to finish and you will not tire of this easily that’s for sure, the great production and sound is another factor in making this work. On top of all of that we have a vocalist that really with his voice adds another dimension and turns something good into something great, I think the jigsaw pieces are all falling into place really well for this band on this album.

Thinking about the fact that this is the band’s debut album I cannot help wondering about what fantastic music lies ahead of them if this is their first effort in the public realm. I think this is one of the best debut albums I have heard in a long time, maybe even since Star One’s Space Metal but don’t take that too seriously as I cannot really recall any debuts at the moment so I might be very mistaken.

In the end though I just have to add that this is an album that belongs in the collection of every serious music fan, it is just that great, sure if you are into the really heavy, aggressive and fast stuff you will probably not quite enjoy this as much even though i am sure you will. Time Measured in Bitter Chapters will be one of the ten albums to remember from 2011, that’s for sure.



Label: Own production/Triada
Three similar bands: Radiohead/Porcupine Tree/IAMX
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
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