This is an album that raises a lot of socially responsible questions. After highly acclaimed album Factories, And The Kid are back with another respectable release called Grand Mal. These guys are known for being sensitive to social justice, always singing about working class problems, revolution and fight against the corruption.
Socially active discourse is the core of this album as well, articulating a sensible narrative about modern society and its problems. Many will identify with their songs. Personally, I appreciate their effort to target the stigmas of society and detect them in a political context. It is interesting how social topics can live in symbiosis with alternative music. With And The Kid, there is wide variety of topics: unemployment, alienation, loneliness, revolution, Western society, nihilism and desperate need to find some sense in this nonsense world we live in. These boys are not afraid to share their perspective on the state of the world. Listening to Grand Mal, you will feel how your brain center for engagement and social activism is going wild.
Sound is the same as on their previous record, an alternative indie rock, only this one time they are showing more preferences for rock elements. Guitars are more expressive and dynamic, and the vocal is more prominent. We can say that, contrary to their previous album, this one is really guitar driven. There are some softcore moments, but the rhythm is consistent and assertive in its mission to suck you in.
Revolution At Home is opening the album, almost like the national anthem is opening a relevant ceremony. Unusual lyrics showcase how willing this band is to confront with the problems and make a statement in the society. Musically, everything is about riffs and orchestrations.
If I were to choose the best song on the album, it would be Bum Night, a phenomenal ballade with powerful vocal interpretation. It starts as a slow tune just so that it could escalate into an eclectic chorus. Very mature and smart lyrics. I can give similar compliments to Compassion Is Gone, only this one is a little bit more cheerful and alternative.
Can You Feel Anything These Days is another folk number with emotional narrative that hits you straight in the head. And God is Not Existing.
I feel inspired by this album in a way that makes me want to write a song that would change the world. It is so gratifying when an album makes you raise your eyebrows. When music asks you questions, there is nothing you could do but to say YES.