19 Feb 2019
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Grant Duncan - Album Review: Early Morning Rise

18 Nov 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard

Sometimes music grabs you instantly, some music can be instantly dismissed, and some music deserves to be played over and over before it can be fully appreciated. I have had Early Morning Rise the new album from Grant Duncan for a while. Some of you might remember Grant from his days as vocalist for The Audio Justice although he is now based in Tokyo.

The opening track When I’m With You grabbed me enough to pique my interest with its slightly 60’s psychedelic twist on the classic pop/rock vibe. It has a great melody and driving chorus, easily the standout track on first listen.

The Lasts The Longest Now show’s Grant’s talent as a songwriter. His vocal has a rough edge to it and fits the classic rock vibe perfectly. Whilst there is a retro feel to some of the songs on here overall this doesn’t sound dated and luckily whilst Grant is clearly a good guitarist he leaves the fret wankery to a minimum.

Find it Somewhere Else Tonight is where we begin to tread water a little. Things start off OK but overall the track feels a little long and some of the lyrics get a little cliché.

Luckily there is depth to this collection of songs and just when I was in danger of switching off, the melancholy ballad Love Stretches Further Each Day follows. It is a beautiful piece of music that gets under your skin complimented with vocals that sit perfectly

Heavy Clouds could easily go on one of Paul McCartney's latest albums. It ups the tempo and mood and is perfect listening on a sunny Sunday morning.

We then move into a bit of M.O.R. territory and whilst Own True Self and A Storm In Paradise are OK I do feel this is where we suffer bit of solo artist syndrome. Everything on this album fits, fits well, compliments itself. Sometimes it feels a little too controlled. A bit more friction and experimentation could take this album to a whole other level.

See Her Tired Eyes is a blast of a song to end with and reminiscent of early Ocean Colour Scene.

I find myself wanting to hear these songs live with a full band at full tilt. I am not sure if that is going to be happening but if it does then I think that is where we could see their full potential.

Overall, if you like your music on the classic side of indie, the pop side of rock with a Beatlesque vibe and a ‘mod’ern twist then you can’t go wrong with a bit of Grant Duncan.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About Grant Duncan

Grant Duncan is a singer-songwriter based in Tokyo, Japan. His NZ/UK origins have certainly influenced his musical direction as the classic grooves of UK pop rock including The Kinks, The Kooks, The Beatles and the Stone Roses are often apparent in his song-writing. Grant writes melodic indie pop-styled tracks and his lyrics are often energizing and thought-provoking.

Grant is also the frontman for Tokyo-based indie pop combo Pavement Candy which perform regularly around the Tokyo live arena and he was also previously the songwriter/bassist and vocalist for NZ rock band The Audio Justice who were finalists in the NZ 2013 Battle of the Bands competition.

Grant wrote and produced a full length album Alliance which was released on Spotify and Amazon on March 25 2018. His follow-up Early Morning Rise will be released on November 1 2018.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Grant Duncan

Releases

Early Morning Rise
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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