By: Derek Spencer
Backyard-party blues meets goofy punk rock on The Grand Pantrymen’s 2014 LP “The Two or Three Moods of….” The result rests comfortably somewhere between the insane musical ramblings of mid-2000’s Abe Vigoda and the opening, upbeat songs from a set by your local blues joint’s house band (the songs they play before the booze sets in, and along with it lethargy, depression, and vulnerability).
You can only give so much of your attention to a band that jokes about being fat Americans in one chorus (“I only sweat when I eat/ the only workout I need“) and then proclaims “I can’t read!” in another. That being said, the chromatic noodling and odd rhythmic upheavals that pop up every now and then throughout the album counterbalance the lyrics up to a point (particularly, the outro to “Crazy Little Things” and the bridge in “Horse Apples”). The vocal performance is, at worst, typical for the genre and, at best, crazed and whiny in all the right ways.
I imagine that The Grand Pantrymen likely inspire a strong local following; by all musical indications their shows should be a lot of drunken fun. Their records, on the other hand, could be served by a deeper-reaching mix (the bass sits solidly in the mid range for large segments of the album) and some rhythm guitar layering. The album hints at complexity, induces moments of insanity, but fails to land any one devastating blow.
Stand out tracks:
Crazy Little Thing
(2 x [Pitchfork rating])^2 – 3:
Update: I had a link to the music in the text, until I received the following message from the band: “Could you remove the soundcloud link entirely? We’d rather people send us snail mail for a free copy – it’s not really meant to be listened to on a soundcloud.