MP3 Grenadier - Hand Offensive
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11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Psychedelic, POP: Power Pop
Grenadier makes its headquarters in the birthplace of barbed wire: Dekalb, Illinois. Dekalb is university town somewhere between Chicago and the Mississippi River. It rises from a sea of corn and soybeans, soon to be devoured by the insatiable Chicago suburbs. Like most university towns, DeKalb has a fascinating lack of set norms-a place where progressive urban culture runs headlong into the sheepish conservatism of the rural Midwest. Add to this mix the disquieting presence of train whistles and crows, and you have a welcome respite from the homogeny that has become everywhere else. It is here, in the sanctity of their raucous underground shelter, that Grenadier plots their musical operations.
These gatherings are a generous mix of music, brew, politics, and current events. Entirely home-recorded, each member of Grenadier performs a variety of functions. Jeremy Heroldt mans the front line on vocals, guitar, bass and keyboard. Mark Mattson covers his flank with gales of guitar and vocal reinforcement. Craig Swafford provides the artillery--throwing down drums, vocals, keyboards and assorted synthetic noises, all the while riding the faders like a mule.
Veterans of the heady Chicago rock scene of the mid-90's, they experienced their fair share of small triumphs and record label near-misses. Not content to limit their creative abilities to one band, they have ascribed a moniker to their musical collective--Ubique--meaning here and everywhere. Ubique is home to two distinct bands and their handsome collection of songs. Jeremy wrote the songs for Grenadier's explosive debut, Hand Offensive. Mark did the same for the elegaic She Moved Through, the first from his Tall Grass Captains of Greater Chicago. The three men of Ubique are not mere hobbyists. They've released 6 albums and 2 EPs from the Klugmaknotts, Luminous, and the Calcutta Shakes.
Grenadier marks the first time Jeremy's music is served up without conciliation, a 37 minute blast of ideas and energy. Hand Offensive is a sly commentary on his status as an independent musician and his personal struggles to represent despite the siren call of the couch. The masterful melodies and sly hooks reveal our comrade to be a songwriter of the first order, threading songs together with the notion of looking outside yourself---acknowledging the empty gestures and pretense foisted upon us by popular culture, while committing to the quiet business of living your life as well as you can. Maybe it's a sucker bet, but it's quintessentially Midwestern. His non-musical pursuits include teaching the youth of America dodgeball and sex education. Yep--a gym teacher who leads a double life as a rocker. Sounds suspicously like his hero, Robert Pollard.
Ubique revels in the freedom afforded a group of musicians not paying for studio time by the hour---plotting at will and lobbing musical hand offensives with abandon. It's an attitude championed by late bloomers like Guided by Voices. Grenadier is one of the year's most compelling indie rock statements, selfishly guarded, but now yours.
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