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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Granati Bros - G Force

Name: Granati Bros.
Album: G Gorce
Year: 1979
Style: Power Pop
Similar Bands: Billy Joel, REO Speedwagon, Supertramp, Mike Viola
"One-Word" Review: Working man's harmonic pop
Based Out Of: Pittsburgh, Pa
Label: A&M
G Force - Cover & Sleeve
G Force - Back & Lyrics
G Force - Record

G Force (1979)
  1. What In The World 2:50
  2. You Looked So Good 1:57
  3. April 2:34
  4. I Can Do Without You 2:59
  5. No Stone Unturned 3:01/
  6. Nite 2:35
  7. Nothin' 3:15
  8. Make It Last 2:56
  9. It Was You 3:02
  10. (Someone to) Take Up My Time 2:17
  11. She Doesn't Cry 4:37
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Hermie Granati - Keys, Vox, Synth Bass, Asst. Producer
Ricky Granati - Percussion, Drums, Ignitions, Vox
Joey Granati - Synth Bass, Keys, Vox
David Granati - Guitar, Davidtron, Bass, Vox, Sound Engineering
Tony Lee Bonomo - Percussion, Vox
Ray Shulman - Producer, Engineer
Michael Getlin - Engineer
Paul Northfield - Engineer
Rick Hart - Engineer
Bill Thompson - Asst. Engineer
Raider Manadement - Management
Premier Talent - Agency
Roland Young - Art Direction
Junie Osaki - Design
Stan Evenson - Design
Mark Hanauer - Photography

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of these guys. But I got the album because of the interesting angle of the cover photograph, their clothing style, and the pictured on the back, which all point to the direction of new wave/rock. Not to mention this is from 1979. I was not too excited about the name Granati Bros. (which luckily pre-dates Mario Bros.) or the album name G-Force, but there is a specific energy given off by the black and white and red color scheme.

Album Review: “What In The World” starts off like a Billy Joel/Air Supply crossover song, with pop piano and slightly metal electric guitar. The vocals are slightly pub rock, but the double layered vocals of the chorus lighten the song to be like Reo Speedwagon or other kinds of lite power pop bands of the era. Its catchy, but also very non threatening. It fades out, and “You Looked So Good” is next. Knowing they are from Pittsburgh, you can almost feel the city’s working class mentality in the middle-class theme songs. The vocals go through many different levels. There is a raspy verse, a harmonized layered chorus, and a separate normal vocal for another part of the chorus. I’m not sure if the vocals come from different brothers, or if it is one changing his voice slightly for different effects. This is a one-trick song, without much depth, but it is a catchy hook they repeat over and over. “April” is a very theatrical vocal and piano supertrampy melody and Billy Joel too. Actually, this song is very much like Mike Viola too mixed with XTC's Skylarking era music. There are some interesting added effects, but the song is sparse overall, and nearly acoustic. “I Can Do Without You” is a dirty barroom jam. It is not fast, but it is still a head banging sleazy song. And the vocals will occasionally take a turn and seem British at times. There is a short pause, and then the music kicks back in for a 45 second breakdown. This is kinda like a poor man’s J Geils Band song. “No Stone Unturned” starts with a catchy guitar lick, and then changes into a bouncy power pop, disco influenced bass number.

“Nite” is a slinky strutting power pop song. The chorus is very unusual in its composition, which makes it very catchy, it feels like they are cramming extra syllables into the hook, but instead of seeming crowded, the syllables guide you through the musical progression better. Unfortunately the song never deviates from the sorta-reggae style of the song, and it is very one dimensional. It would have been nice to combine their great idea with something else, but they just ride the one thing to its end. “Nothin'” is a straightforward rock song. It is meant for the radio, in perfect verse building to the chorus delivery, supported by simple rock guitar melodies, and a simple drum and bass beat. The title is reinvented with a different melody at the end of the song, which creates a depth to the song which is needed for a good song. Its just not that interesting to me, but it is done well. It transitions right into “Make It Last” which is a slower bluesy, smoky pub song. But it is not that slow, and not that depressing, however, there is a dark tone to the song’s melody. It has a fade out and some interesting chimes to carry out the long fade. “It Was You” is like a folksy, wispy Wings type song. It is full of up-tempo hooks and some very intricate melodies. It ends with a stereotypical rock n’ roll drum fill ending. “(Someone to) Take Up My Time” is a groovy, bouncy song with odd nasally vocals, and the keyboard effect from the Popcorn pre-techno disco song. It too has a slight reggae feel. It builds very well into its chorus, but it too is a little dark, and a little too short. “She Doesn't Cry” ends with a power ballad that builds and struts itself out like the typical lighter rock music of the mid 70’s.

Stand-Out Track: April


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