GRANDSTAND – Regime Change
If you like the high-energy, post-grunge music of bands like At-the-Drive-In, you’re sure to like Grandstand. They take the pre-Mars Volta excursionists a step further to the left, infusing their music with some bona-fide political angst on songs like “Gestapo.” Although lines like “Sent to fight a war / We’ve lost a thousand times before” and “3,000 soldiers slain / In the sake of the Bush name,” which may have sounded radical a number of months ago but now seem nearly mainstream, they are delivered with incendiary emotion. You can almost hear the spit fly on “TKO Tokyo,” thanks to the supercharged backing vocals by left-handed guitarist Scott Colson (The band likes to make a point out of the fact that they have both left and right-handed guitarists as well as the fact that they like all things Japanese).
This is the band’s first recorded outing, a six-song affair that, like other meaningful DIY projects, makes up for its faults (some out-of-tune guitars, some off-pitch vocals, some sloppy entries and fills, sameness between the songs) with enough no-bullshit attitude that they become endearing trademarks. There is little doubt that Regime Change was recorded live in the studio in an attempt to capture the band’s raw energy. Another sure bet is that there is a sweat-soaked stage at the end of every gig. Three vocalists also help to take Grandstand beyond the average indie band.
Grandstand may well be a band to keep your eye on, assuming they hold their ground long enough to survive the realities of trying to break into a largely uncaring music scene. If the intensity of Regime Change is any indication, antagonism should only add fuel to their fire and hopefully so.