January 5, 2023

What is it with Sweden?! How does it mange to foster the conditions and climate for so many zestful, energetic pub-rock / garage-rock bands?! So many to choose from, most of whom are thoroughly decent and great fun to listen to! Grande Royale are one such, they’ve graced these pages before and soon (24 March) release their sixth album Welcome to Grime Town on The Sign Records, home to a few other like-minded souls!

Grande Royale is
Johan Häll – Drums and vocals 
Samuel Georgsson – Bass and vocals 
Calle Rydberg – Guitar and vocals 
Gustav Wremer – Guitar and vocals 

Picking up where their 2021 album Carry On left off, the group now returns with twelve more studio cuts. With Grande Royale’s signature blend of energetic Scandinavian garage rock and catchy songwriting at its core, the new material displays what the Swedish four-piece does best; straight forward, melodic, and explosive rock music. The new album features vocal performances by every member of Grande Royale, adding layers, depth, and variety throughout the record. The album is the first featuring new member Calle Rydberg, who replaces Andreas Jenå on guitars and vocals. The album was recorded in Booyah Studios in 2022, produced and recorded by Grande Royale themselves, mixed by Robert Pehrsson in Studio Humbucker, and mastered by Ulf Blomberg in Hoborec Recording Studios. Artwork by Eric Lindqvist. It also features special guest performances by Mattias Rydell (Lead guitar on the track Augury) and Helen Vilsson (lead vocals on Run Officer Run). 

The band formed in 2014 and released their debut album Cygne Noir, followed by 2015’s No Fuss – A Piece by Resolute Men. These records made it possible for the band to go out and play live shows all over Sweden, as well as in the U.K and Southern Europe. With energetic live shows, and tight performances Grande Royale quickly got a name for themselves! 2017 saw the release of Breaking News, their first album on The Sign records, followed by lots more touring all over Europe and a live album Captured Live, released in 2018. Take It Easy came out the following year, with a more southern rock approach than the previous albums, then Carry On came out last year….so they’re an energetic bunch in more ways than one!  

As ever, Grande Royale’s music is straight forward rock’n’roll packed with electric guitars, melodic vocals, and thundering bass lines. They certainly take me back to the classic days of pub-rock in the UK, for example the Brinsleys or Graham Parker, but there’s also a strong resemblance to The Offspring and Green Day in particular – an impressive pedigree, having a lot of fun playing fast and loud. None of these bands are exactly cutting edge, they’re not “the future of rock” as such, but they’re having fun, the fans are having great fun, what’s not to like!

The twelve tracks all share the same characteristics – short snappy numbers, energetic and straight-forward takes on garage rock, whilst still keeping clear melodies, tuneful riffs, and a punchy rhythm section inspired by 90’s rock. Tell Me is particularly Offspring-like, given lead singer Gustav’s vocals, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Augury features a hint of Golden Earring, nice chorus lines and a superb solo from guest Mattias Rydell! Utopia is slightly different, an almost (almost!) gentle intro, before a manic sort of roots-country pace ensnares you. The added bongos are fun!

There’s another eight tracks on here, all of a kind, they’re relentless in their bouncy, engaging no-frills way. This is simply great Power Pop, thoroughly enjoyable with quality tunes, vocals and riffs. As before, the album has left me quite breathless in the same exhilarating way listening to The Ramones used to! ‘The most fun you can have with your clothes on’ was the tag for Joey, Johnny, Dee-Dee and Tommy; and it also fits this crazy gang!

this nicely captures the spirit of Grande Royale – enjoy!