They Say :- Grinspoon’s star rose fast after claiming triple j’s inaugural Unearthed competition in 1995. Two EPs paved the way for their double Platinum 1997 smash-hit debut, Guide To Better Living. Two years on came the Platinum-selling Easy, and in 2002 their Top 2 album New Detention garnered four ARIA Award nominations for the band and their production team. An ARIA was in their grasp soon after, with 2004’s Top 5 Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills picking up Rock Album of the Year. And doing what they do best, the band’s live show has conquered stages across the country, including on multiple Big Day Out tours and Splendour In The Grass bills.
Their sixth album, Six To Midnight, only reinforces their status as the premier rock act in the country. Drawing from around 45 songs penned individually and in sessions at Port Macquarie and Myocum on the NSW North Coast, Grinspoon convened to Studios 301 in Byron Bay with acclaimed US producer Rick Will (Incubus, No Doubt, Gillian Welch, Skindred). Conscious of not slipping into old habits, the band recorded together, live, for the first time in a decade. The result is a tight, frenetic and tense rock album, brimming with energy and buoyant enthusiasm.
We Say :- At first listen it would be fairly easy to dismiss Grinspoon as just another MTV generation pop-punk band with the usual array of predictable catchy tunes. This is undeniably the sort of rock that finds favour with broadcasters, but there is enough originality and musical intelligence to save this release from getting lost in the noise of endless similar looking, similar sounding airplay friendly bands.
Grinspoon are a band who do poppy-catchy extremely well, Comeback and Takes One in particular working their way into your head and staying there. They also stray into heavier areas too, Dogs and Surrender in particular show a harder edge to their musical leanings which works extremely well.
The final track listing was pruned down from 45, and could probably have benefited from having another couple chopped out as it does get a bit samey in places.
Having said that this is as good an example of the genre as you will find. There are quite a few genuinely good moments on this release and I am sure Six To Midnight will be lapped up by the band’s target audience.
It’s just that with tracks like the aforementioned Surrender and Right Now there are definite hints of a much wider appeal.