An album by Grampfather
Released March 25, 2019
Indie rock band Grampfather have continually asserted themselves as a New Paltz DIY staple. They’ll be the first to tell you that they’re not just another indie band, as they’re often caught diving into the sounds of psychedelia and punk while staying firmly rooted in rock & roll. Their latest album “The Gramp Stamp” is nothing short of a dive into different sounds.
The album doesn’t waste any time getting started. The welcoming and fun sounds of the guitar in “Para Ti” are quickly accompanied by drums, and emotion-packed vocals. Everything comes together excitedly, mirroring the lyrics of excitement and appreciation for the one he loves. Like love itself, especially new love, the song goes through periods of angst followed by resolve (and the cycle begins again). There are moments it even feels as though the song is ending, but it continues with even more passion mixed with unease reflected in out-of-tune sounding horns. The ending ties everything together in one final bittersweet resolve that feels like coming home from a bad day of work to a lover who just gets you.
The second track “Good Mo(u)rning” not only further shows the bands love for wordplay but stands out as the best on the album. The melody is alluring and evolves alongside the clever lyricism. There is a dreamlike quality to the song that’s either combated or complemented by harsh instrumentation later in the song, depending on which listener you ask. The initial melody hooks the listener in and the track is yet another dive into diverse experimentation with sound.
“Roach Motel” starts and ends as a guitar-centric song. The vocals are full of emotion that is, at times, unidentifiable. The lyrics often sound like they’re out of a book; there almost seem to be references to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye with the “ducks at the pond.” The nice guitar picking from the start of the song comes back in its conclusion perhaps to suggest a starting over within the relationship portrayed in the song. Maybe the title is symbolic of letting someone off easy, perhaps via an allusion to the old Roach Motel cockroach traps- but that’s just my crazy take!
The next track is comically titled “2% Juice” and brings back that pattern of anst followed by resolve. The whole album is reminiscent of My Morning Jacket and this song is no exception. The vocals are very Jim James-esque, with influence especially from his latest two albums.
“Goregonzola!” is yet another (welcomed) play on words. An instrumental, the song begs you to tap your foot. It’s a great jam that continually feels like a buildup.The band proves themselves as rockers at heart in this one.
The final track “Vultures Eating Vultures” sounds like The Cramps met My Morning Jacket. The vocals take a turn from the rest of the album down a playful road. The singer James’s voice shines through here and while the song has clear influences, it retains the band’s unique sound. It’s a fun song to close out the record. It encapsulates the band’s uniqueness of sound and leaves that final impression on the listener.
You can find The Gramp Stamp on all streaming services, including Spotify; https://open.spotify.com/album/6Au5gc6xUiUoX3qsdeplrS?si=_1w13rXNQraVSStw7VXwIA!