Grand Ultra- Here We Are
Release Date: 15th July
Record Label: Unsigned
Hailing from Middle England, four piece Rockers Grand Ultra release their first album ‘Here We Are’ since their four year hiatus.
Grand Ultra takes their inspiration from the classics giving it a modern hard rock twist.
‘Here We Are’ gets off to a flying start with ‘Won’t Let It Go’ a strong track with good riffing and soaring vocals, think The Winery Dogs’ but heavier.
Grand Ultra got the funk with ‘Less You Know’ bringing a distinct funk tinge to their hard rock edge and creating my favourite song off the album.
They then slow it down with a slightly more bluesy number but with a modern sound. Vocalist Joe Hill produced what is his best vocal performance on the album, implementing a slightly cleaner approach.
‘Fade to Grey’ has a great vocal hook a d is simply made for belting out at the top of your voice in a live venue, i’m not sure I could keep it with Hill’s high notes though!
‘Mirror Mirror’ bring bassist Stuart Wildey to the fore, starting with a bass solo before erupting into a series of riffs from guitarist Justin Larner and chorus which made me want to to get off my chair with the ever consistent Hill vocals combing with the backing vocals to create a pleasurable chorus. Larner takes the opportunity near the end of the song to show off his flair with a solo.
‘Guilty’ follows on from where ‘Mirror Mirror’ left off. Big riffs, big vocals which you can also see booming through a massive arena and solos from Larner.
The frentic title track ‘Here We Are comes next, with an opening riff which seems a little more like Megadeath than expected but it one that is guaranteed to get you up and headbanging.
‘Apocolypse’ and ‘Change’ are both exactly what you’ve come to expect from Grand Ultra. Big riffs, soaring riffs, solid bass and drumming courtesy of Gazz Evans, which I’ve neglected to mention thus far. It’s easy to forget about his drumming, not in a bad way but because he keeps it all together. It’s not flashy but it’s what the bands needs.
Rounding off the album is ‘Break my fall’. A very different song which took me by surprise. For a start at 7:57, it’s over two minutes longer than any other song. It doesn’t have the ferocity of the other tracks but for what it lacks in ferocity, it makes up for in epicness. Larner performs his best solo and Hills vocals are simply stunning and perfectly match the music greatest by Larner, Wildey and Evans.
‘Here We Are’ takes me back to the 80s, a feeling which seems to be common at the moment. Unlike, many bands aiming for that old skool sound, this isn’t boring or clichéd. They have a modern twist on a tried and tested style, a consistency rare in these times as well talent in abundance. If they keep producing albums like this they are here to stay, so get used to the name: Grand Ultra.
Recommended Tracks: ‘Less You Know’ and ‘No Friend Of Mine’
You can order the album at: https://grandultra.bandcamp.com/
You can also read our interview with Grand Ultrahere