Grinded Grin is a Croatian band project started by Aleksandar Vrhovec in 2005, and in 2018, he returned to the Grinded Grin project and a full length album entitled Reset. You could classify this album as avant garde or experimental. On top of that it flirts with free jazz, rock and other genres. It’s a dense album with a lot to take away from it and explore.
The album opens up with “Petulance” and I was reminded of the TV series Twin Peaks and another avant garde album entitled The Drift by Scott Walker. There is dark, haunting atmosphere but the horns are really what paint a canvas of absurdity in this lonely midnight cavern. As the song unfolds piano, drums and electronic elements buzz, come together and then fall apart. It’s a great opener.
There is a bit of a groove to be had but it is anything but 4/4 on “Deducted.” The song plays around with timing and atmosphere but completely derails all the predictability of a radio pop song. One might think that radio has gone awry if not being familiar what the fringe of music can offer.
“Wretch pt. 1” is somewhat serene and tranquil due to the water in the background while a harp drifts you off into oblivion. If you by chance fall asleep “Pond Spinning” will wake you up with what initially sounds like a metal band from the ’80s. Another long starry night is created with “Bubbles” which could be the soundtrack to a L.A. noir inspired film.
“Confronted” is the penultimate centerpiece where vocal samples are implemented. This epic, psychedelic and dynamic song is a wormhole of sound that sends you into the void and back out again.
“Emergance” explores tribal rhythms and ambient soundscapes. I actually wasn’t expecting a whopping twenty-plus-minute soundscape which is a hazy, fuzzy song that could be considered a subdued attempt at post-rock. “Departure” is about as chipper as the album gets while “Jackie's Dream” is actually worthy of a laugh due to the snoring. Last but not least is “Densely” which is delayed, fuzzed out rock - perhaps the most conventional on the album.
This a pretty epic album. The amount of work that went into it is evident. I thought it was great from beginning to end. Take your time to explore what this album has to offer.
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