When I got back upstairs, I thought, 'damn, that was unwanted today' and I suddenly remembered the Grenouer album which had been playing a few times in the past few days. It was one of those albums which I just liked to listen to without thinking about what I was going to write about it. In fact, I had no idea what to write about it. However, it kinda is my job to review albums so I sat my ass down, opened the album and a notepad; got me a hot cup of coffee and started this whole thing.
Grenouer hail from St Petersburg, Russia and you will have to believe me on that. Listening to the album you wouldn't since it sounds quite American or English. The band started out in 1992 already, by then as an extreme underground metal band. However, gradually and hugely influenced by the alternative metal scene of the nineties, Grenouer evolved. Their sound became a blend of Korn, Helmet, Lacuna Coil, Linkin Park, Deftones and several others.
That evolution did not invoke a loss of power by the way. Most of the songs are very strong pieces of alternative rock, rooted in nu-metal, grunge and metal as a whole. Grenouer can count on excellent musicians, including a guitar player who uses his experience to blast out some very immersive riffs and a vocalist with a clear, forceful voice. Furthermore the whole is enforced by a number of electronics, including some great trip-hop elements.
The level of songwriting is also quite high. It makes songs like title track 'Unwanted Today' and 'Blossoms In The Dust' very radio friendly rock hits. In fact, change the guitars and the latter could be Massive Attack song. However, don't think this is all goody-goody rock. The metal background is clearly present in 'A Little Too Obsessed', which partially drives on riffs with a stunning Pantera capacity. And then, there's even some more going on. Here and there I can head flashes of eighties new wave and shoegaze, enforced by a rolling bass and a controlled wall-of-soud.
My favorite songs include 'Daily Mirrors', 'Something Really Bad' and 'Artificial Tears' but the whole album is quite enjoyable and certainly a nice throwback into the nineties. Grenouer clearly shows that this kind of music is still very relevant today, even if the influences date from twenty years ago. We're dealing with talent and experience here, a combination that almost always guarantees a strong product. So yes, I conclude by saying that this is an excellent alternative rock album that will often be heard in this appartment from now on.