Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



  Graceland Gospel  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

When you hear the name Graceland Gospel, there are many images that come to mind: bluegrass, Elvis, Evangelical Christians in polyester shirts makes asses of themselves. Well, as a matter of fact the band Graceland Gospel are Norwegian, not Texan, and i doubt they have anything other than a passing familiarity with bluegrass. I honestly wonder why they chose this name, and I can only conclude that the two words Graceland Gospel sound cool to Norwegian ears. That, and they probably do like The King, but who doesn't?

Graceland Gospel are a young band, and this is their first release. They are apparently selling this at their shows across Scandinavia, and they also have the four tunes available for listening via their MySpace page. They sent us the MP3s, and they are pretty worthwhile. Let's go over each tune.

The EP starts off with The Strongest One. Here, Stian Thunder's voice is out front in an almost emo-esque fashion. The guitarwork is a low chiming on the verses, and crunchy power cords on the chorus. It moves along at a good pace like a So Cal pop-punk derived song, and is a decent start to things.

On the next tune, Thunder sings with an Elvisian snarl, and the guitars are lighter and more rockabilly, less power-punkish. The tune is called American Hey, and it needs polished black shoes and white t-shirts with the sleeves rolled up. However, the lyrical content is weird. It appears to be about conservative transvestites in suburban America. I think. What do these guys know anyway -- they're Norwegian! A weird song, but nicely done, musically speaking.

The third track is called Midnight Suicide, and it treds the border of cartoon gothishness here. It is scary/creepy in a Scooby Doo kind of way, with an organ propelling the tune as Thunder speaks the lyrics in an exaggerated villain manner. (I honestly keep expecting someone to yell out, "Zoinks!") However, on the chorus the tune swells up, becoming really dense with Thunder wailing away. On the whole, the song works.

Finally, Graceland Gospel wrap things up with Baby. This is a surf rockabilly tune, all fast tremoloed guitar licks that go reggae-ish on the chorus. Thunder positively wails this song, hitting an early Danzig kind of melodic growl during the chorus, and the drummer is having a blast. This is a fun tune that i bet really shines in concert.

On the whole, this is pretty good stuff. These kids have put out four really fun tunes that are each interesting in their own way. They show potential, and i look forward to more from them.

Related Links:

Artist MySpace:


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.