Web-special: Fixating fare 

TV Eye Records
4 stars

There’s this general lament among music fans that the popularity with portable mp3 players is driven in part by the discernible lack of artists capable of writing an album’s worth of fixating fare. So when a band like Grandville comes along, you need to shut up and listen.

The West Coast quartet’s self-titled debut follows a formula of powerful, compact melodies that are crisp and euphonious. With the one-two-three punch of “Follow,” “Disaster Fiend” and “Deliver,” it’s undeniable they know how to write a pop-rock hit. It’s all the more amazing when you consider they’ve only been playing together for 13 months.

The palpable passion has been enough to get their music in a number of movies and TV shows, but don’t hold it against them that one of their songs was used in an Olsen Twins flick.

Grandville does fiddle with the blueprint somewhat, without killing their momentum. “Ghost” is slower and pensive with electronic drum flourishes. The relentless and handclapped “While You Were Sleeping” is a step back to that old rock ’n’ roll sound. Lead guitarist Todd McCool (originally from Indiana) helps turn closer “Lovers & Madmen” into a forceful number that has soft touches around the edges.

Musicians will always tell you they want their music to make you feel something. Grandville does that not just with one song, but nearly an entire CD. If this doesn’t stir something in you, you’ve either become entirely too jaded or never had the sense to start with.

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