Grand Magus – Review

Grand Magus

by Craig Regala

Really strong stomper within the “stoner rock” oeuvre. Luckily, as this grouping of bands develops a rock language, we can hammer into shorthand the warm tones, rock/rock and roll/doom tempos, steady 4/4 grooves, and an attachment to 35 years of hard rock history for inspiration. Really, the ’70s Black Sabbath records are the most obvious touch-point because of the sonic nature of’m, and Grand Magus use the bluesy rockin’ tools handed down to’m and do a fine job working quick riff blazes into their music like their contemporaries, Sheavy and Orange Goblin. The singer will do double duty, handling the mic for Spiritual Beggars when they tour together. If you’ve heard any of the Spiritual Beggars recs (all good, but start at the beginning with ’96’s Another Way to Shine), you’ve got a decent idea of Grand Magus’ field of play. Not always heavy, but full and musical. A couple songs wouldn’t be out of place on a Mammoth Volume or The Soundtrack Of Our Lives record. That’s the key to keeping this thing in rotation: Tunes and plenty of’m. Jesus, even the skiffle/countryish songs’re great. Make sure you wait for the “hidden” end track. It shows their ability to handle a tune as well as any Brit pop boob. Damn thing sounds great, too, recorded by Fred Esby at das Boot in beautiful Stockholm, Sweden.
(PO Box 629 Port Washington, NY 11050)