GRAND HOTEL PARADOX: Rust: CD

I can’t say I’ve ever had the opportunity to review a band from Dubai, but there’s a first time for everything. Eight songs clocking in at twenty-four minutes from this trio seems a little short, but it’s still enough to gather an idea of their sound. There are two vocalists, one sounding like Blake Schwarzenbach pre-polyps surgery and the other fitting what I would imagine a punky nerd would sound like if he fronted an indie rock band. (Yes, I realize that makes no sense, but in my brain it fits perfectly.) The energy on these songs is upbeat; the majority of the music is a combination of indie rock and punk, both in a more poppy version, but not sounding over-polished. The strongest song on Rust is the tune “Home.” It’s not as fast as some of the other songs or as punk-influenced, but it’s got a more emotional feel than the other material. Like many albums I review, Rust isn’t a horrible album, but it’s not a great album either. It seems to fall on the better side of average, which is a good step in the right direction. Tightening some of the songs and songwriting (there were times when the vocalist seems to be singing lyrics so fast he’s almost tripping over them) would help. Also, there is the sense that these songs lack a coherency as one unit; they seem to not flow as well together on the album as they might have. The problem isn’t so much their order on the album as it might be the way the band seems to write songs. Rust doesn’t seem as consistent as it could or should be.

 –kurt (grandhotelparadox.com)