When a disc slides into the CD player and the display reads one track at around thirty-five minutes, visions of ?Tapes? immediately appear before the ears. That?s a lot to hang around the shoulders of a record before it?s even played. It better be good or the end may never be heard. That this disc has played to the end in each trip to player says something for its credit already. The Grand Hotel is presumably a home recording project consisting of one or more people playing a little bit of guitar, drums, and records. The singer?s distant falsetto moans and warbles betray a debt to a certain representative of Corwood Industries. The whole thing does contain an intentionally ?outsider? aesthetic, which can seem like a pose. But the music remains interesting.
It starts quietly with snippets of a conversation in the practice space then picks up with some aimless guitar as bits and pieces of a rap record get tossed around in a conspicuously casual fashion. Then the drums start up and carry the whole thing out on a trashcan stomp while the tremelo?d voice croons with purposeful absent-mindedness. It all sounds legitimately damaged and addled. Yeah, it?s psychedelic. The singing gets further out and backwards tapes and heavy guitar drone eventually put you down into a mournful song of subdued tones.
You can file this with all the other Big Beard American indie hoopla. Parts of it definitely sound like Tower Recordings more fucked moments, without any of the melodic hooks that always crop up on a TR record. People can do a lot worse with a lot more than this, though. 6/10 -- Sean Witzman (25 May, 2005)