Grande Royale – Carry On

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label URL: The Sign Records
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://freighttrain.se/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/GR.sweden/

Band line-up:

Andreas Jenå – Guitar
Gustav Wremer – Guitar/vocals
Johan Häll – Drums
Samuel Georgsson – Bass

Tracklisting:

1.) Troublemaker
2.) One of a Kind
3.) Bang
4.) Let It All Go
5.) Not the Same
6.) Carry On
7.) Ain’t Got Soul
8.) Staying Dry
9.) Headbanger’s Ball
10.) Just as Bad as You
11.) Schizoid Lullaby

Review:

I reviewed Grande Royale’s previous album, Take It Easy, when it came out a couple of years back, and when follow-up Carry On popped up, I must confess I struggled to remember much about 2019’s offering. Looking (and listening) back, I can see why that was the case: while passable, Take It Easy felt very laid-back and, consequently, didn’t leave much of a mark. It just passed by a bit too casually.

With Carry On, while Grande Royale stick to their hard rocking roots, it seems they’ve decided to up the ante a little with a noticeably more energetic piece. We’ve still got hard rock at the core, but this time there’s so much more vitality and force behind everything. “Troublemaker”, “Let It All Go”, title-track “Carry On”, these are numbers that demand you get up and join in with the fun, they will settle for nothing less. “Bang” is, appropriately, another banger, the bass-driven bounce behind it evoking the feel of a swing band jam, conjuring images of a ballroom full of dancers, a toe-tapping, finger-snapping good time. “Just as Bad as You” can barely contain its own punk rock energy, it’s bubbling over with it.

Of course, that constant “Wooo! Party time!” vibe can be a draining thing. It’s strong and feels genuine, but it can start to wear thin over the album’s full course: what the band offers is undoubtedly fun, but it’s all much of the same ilk. But then again, this is clearly something the band are good at, they can deliver with this, so why shouldn’t they? They also make the smart choice to keep the songs short and punchy, so that they rarely ever outstay their welcome, and while the occasional track can feel a bit more like filler (“Not the Same” and “Schizoid Lullaby”), many others are surprisingly effective given that they all work along much the same lines.

Carry On is a lot less relaxed than its predecessor, and for the better. There’s a sincerity behind the adrenaline here, and while the no-nonsense rocking the band provides might not be the most innovative thing out there, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Review by Kieron Hayes
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