Although the core of the sound is essentially Stoner Rock with an atypical vocal style for the genre, the band are pretty eclectic and don’t just copy the same two Black Sabbath riffs over and over again like a few of the less pioneering Stoner bands do. Sometimes a Grand Astoria track will start off as rock, take an almost funky turn and then end up hammering hard with a clear Megadeth influence before the end. The band also have a strong progressive bent, with lots of noodling and lengthy songs, and occasional keyboard support.
The album consist of six strong tracks, with the highlight for me being the thirteen minute instrumental track ‘The Man. The Sun. The Desert.’
Always a nice little touch when bands do this, the cattle-skull mascot found on this artwork would later return on each of the band’s subsequent studio albums to date as well as on their excellent Ceaser Enters The Palace Of Doom EP.
If you have heard some of their more recent work and want to work your way back, or even if this will be the first release of theirs that you hear, this self titled debut album is a strong and confident album that is well worth your time.
Overall; nice guitar solos, interesting riffs and new ideas are very much the order of the day. If you want to hear something interesting and creative, something you don’t hear a thousand of other bands doing, then The Grand Astoria are something you should definitely consider investing a few listens into.