What will happen if musicians from different scenes – Rockabilly, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock – will team up in one band? Dutch Grumpynators state it will be a mix of Motörhead, Social Distortion and Stray Cats. To prove it the band release a new album named Still Alive.
The band was formed in 2013 and Still Alive is their third album. Musicians performed all over the Europe and played as supporting act for their fellow countrymen Volbeat.
Grumpynators‘ music has nothing common with the band’s name. It combines drive, Punk Rock energy, Rock-‘n’-roll rhythm and groove, Hard’n’Heavy riffs and even some Glam Metal elements. According to themselves, the guys wanted “to pay tribute to the good times, the party until sunrise and everything else about rock’n’roll, that make life worth living.”
The opening self-titled song “Still Alive” immediately shows that it will be not boring at all: a simple, high energy guitar riff with matching solo and melodic chorus with chanting will hardly allow you sit still – at least some head nodding guarantied! Next one, “Going Away For Good” continues with this mood, while Emil Øelund’s vocal sounds a bit rougher here than in a previous track. I also want to mention the drummer Per Fisker: his rhythmical playing without unnecessary showing off gives the music a needed drive, groove and energy.
“Blood And Bones” in its turn sounds pretty heavier: guitars play almost Heavy Metal in verse and go back to Rock-‘n’-roll in choruses. There is also some Heavy in “All I Want”; although, energetic chorus in major key changes the mood but it makes the song even interesting.
Some Hard’n’Heavy notes can be heard in “Yesterday” and “Feel The Same”: dynamic melodies, quite heavy guitars (against some other songs in the album) and some good solos. These songs remind about times when Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe and Poison were young bands full of life, gave stadium shows and set the tone for the music.
“Dream Girl” shows the Rockabilly side of Grumpynators. It starts from vinyl scratching sound and then clean guitars and groovy chorus will make you move. Technically it’s quite simple but on the other hand there is nothing unnecessary in it; it just a joyful track made for dancing. Michael Poulsen from Volbeat says that “Dream Girl” is his favorite song in Still Alive.
For my sorrow, “Monster Girl” sounds like filler. It’s still rhythmical and has some Rock-‘n’-roll notes in it (in a way) but I can’t say it is catchy like the other songs in this album.
Nevertheless, whatever great party you have, sooner or later the moment when everybody got tired and should live (with a good mood, of course). Still Alive‘s last song “Back On The Road” transmits this mood very well: started as major key Glam Metal it transforms lately to some early Bon Jovi-esque AOR and goes back to Glam in chorus. The drive and rhythm are kept well here but there is also some fleeting sadness can be felt. However, it’s fleeting because this is not the last party.
All in all, Still Alive will not impress the listener with some innovativeness or playing techniques but it hasn’t such tasks. This album and Grumpynators’ music in a whole are about something else: it’s about fun, joy, happiness and, if you allow me, about carelessness in a good way. It’s drivy and groovy but the most important thing is that it is cheering you up, which is very important these vague days when you don’t know what will become and when it all ends
Still Alive will be released on August, 28 via Mighty Music.
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