Sunday 13 March 2016

The Grand Mal - S/T (EP Review)

Release date: March 18th 2016. Label: When Planets Collide. Format: CD/DD

The Grand Mal – S/T – Tracklisting

No Man's Land
Black Spiral
Pig In The Python

Band Members:

Elliot Cole - Drums
Ryan Cole - Guitar
Lee Cressey - Guitar
Dave-O - Vocals / Bass


The Grand Mal is a Sludge/Stoner Rock made up by members from two of the UK's finest Stoner Rock bands – Desert Storm and Mother Corona.

It's to the band's credit they have created a sound so very different to their respective bands. Dave-O has even switched from Drums to Bass to perform on The Grand Mal. You have Lee from Mother Corona on Guitars and Desert Storm's Elliot and Ryan on drums and guitars respectively. So what do The Grand Mal have in store for you on their debut release.

You get 3 tracks dealing in heavy spaced out sludge/stoner rock riffs. The EP has quite a soulful blues rock vibe but it's The Grand Mal's use of psych rock that makes it come truly alive. Opening track – No Man's Land is a pure sludgy stoner rock number with the band creating great riffs from the start and the lyrics have quite a playful edge to them. Dave-O is on confident form though I wouldn't expect anything less from him as he's proven what a great vocalist he is with Mother Corona.

Second track – Black Spiral – is the heaviest and most spaced out song on the EP as the band opt for a more trippy approach to their music. I can detect a slight Alice In Chains vibe on this song and that's no bad thing. As The Grand Mal inject psych rock riffs to keep their sound rocking on all fronts. It's built on a simple premise but when that premise is KICK-ASS RIFFS then these guys exploit that premise for all it's worth to create a stunning hard rock magical opus. Definitely the standout song on the EP. This is the song that shows The Grand Mal have real potential to make a lasting impression.

The final track – Pig in The Python is another round of heavy psych sludge driven rock. The band are finally coming into their own sound. Fans of Monster Magnet will be in their element here. A great mix of Grunge, Stoner Metal blended with that cosmic psych sludge rock that leave you wanting more. As this is the final song on this superb EP. Why could they not include one more song to push the EP pass the 20 minute mark.

Apart from that minor complaint, I'm very excited to hear The Grand Mal's debut album as this EP only offers a brief glimpse of what is possible from The Grand Mal. My advice, buy a copy of their debut EP courtesy of the good folks over at When Planets Collide. As this EP fucking rules and it's a must have release. Plain and Simple. Awesome stuff.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to When Planets Collide for the promo. The Grand Mal – S/T EP will be available to buy on CD/DD via When Planets Collide from March 18th 2016.