I like records that don’t mess around and Grand Collapse’s début album Far From The Callous Crowd is the very definition of not messing around. The thrash-punkers stuff 25 minutes of Gnarwolves-meets-Send More Paramedics styled joy into their album’s 11 songs and not a single second of it could be described as lazy.
The four men of Grand Collapse do an amazing job of sounding like they’re putting all the blood, sweat and tears that their bodies can muster into these performances. Vocalist Calvin Sewell has a brilliantly snotty grunt to his voice that sounds like the classic punk of yesteryear. Guitarist Jon Powell delivers all the melody and manages to cram a hundred riffs into every song and every one of them has a fantastic galloping bounce to it. This is the sound of a legion of kids throwing shapes in the pit. This is then bolstered by the thunderous twang of bassist David Thomas and the blind fury of drummer Glenn Tew who punctuates every growling chord with a massive helping of crash cymbal. You simply cannot fault the abilities of these four men.
When it all comes together Grand Collapse deliver inarguable hardcore punk anthems. There is not a moment on Far From The Callous Crowd that could even be remotely described as boring. The band even manage to find variety in their madness by changing tempos and even dropping the distortion in favour of some seriously catchy leads like the ones at the beginning of Touch Paper and Memoirs of Heath Park.
Even when Grand Collapse are at their slowest like the aforementioned Memoirs of Heath Park they still sound utterly ferocious thanks to the wonderful pairing of huge chords and crash cymbal. If you can’t feel yourself leaning into a relentless session of headbanging then it’s time to see a doctor.
Tying the record together is the meticulous production. It’s no surprise to see that Lewis Johns was responsible for the production on Far From The Callous Crowd as the man is clearly becoming the UK’s punk producer of choice. The man manages to keep all the raw aggression of Grand Collapse’s performance despite presenting it in a way that highlights every element of the band’s music in perfect clarity. If Johns doesn’t have a list of bands as long as his arm lining up for production work by now then there isn’t any justice in the world.
Grand Collapse have put together a début album that I simply cannot listen to without the words ‘FUTURE CLASSIC’ coming into view. Far From The Callous Crowd is a no-nonsense shot of adrenaline and there isn’t a single moment that doesn’t sound like a cacophony of punk’s best riffs. I want more and I need it now.
Grand Collapse’s Far From the Callous Crowd is out now on limited edition CD. Buy one direct from the band.