Grandadbob - Waltzes for Weirdos

  • Published
    29 Nov 2004
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  • Released
    Nov 04
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  • Coming off Norman Cook's Southern Fried label is Grandadbob's - Waltzes for Weirdos. The band consists of Vanessa Robinson and Dave Johnson who's previous singles have been described as Moloko meets Daft Punk, true as it is at they take the best and worst influences from both of those bands. grandadbob is a real person, he's Vanessa's grandfather and boasts a hed full of goodies, he has also featured on the band's t-shirts and had a cameo speaking role on one track. Vanessa and David met when he was working as an engineer in the studio and met when she came into to record some vocal parts. The band started as a four piece, but once studio time came around there were only the two of them left. The city of Sheffield has produced its fair share of notables in the world of music such as The Human League, Pulp and Moloko. What all of these Steel City types had in common was an endearing eccentricity that marked them out from the more run of the mill band's, Grandadbob follow in that fine tradition with the wonderfully titled Waltzes for Weirdos, Producing a summery blend of Daft Punk-esque house beats and catchy melodies, they follow a catchy dance tradition, but there's more depth to this record than just big beats - there's a sensitive streak in the production that complements Vanessa's dreamy vocal and offers more emotion than straight-up house. These waltzes should appeal to more than just weirdos, uniting chilled deep house with dreamy vocals and a rather nice string line, good house with soul. Grandadbob seem to tread a fine line between classy, funky song writing and self-indulgent nonsense, and it's the same with. On the plus side, they specialise in a rich, deep sound that's bound to seduce both clubbers and non-clubbers alike. Tracks such as Maybe which blends a groovin’ baseline, with an organic guitar loop, which turns out to be filtered beyond recognition, which is also up tempo, a sample the same as the title suggests, adding in a slapless baseline. On the downtempo tip, Portishead-esque Open Mouthed with a touch of Beth Gibbons influence, this track consists of a more eclectic arrangement of sounds. Some tracks seem prone to bouts of self-indulgence and lean towards self-conscious cockiness Kenny for example features a sample of a child’s voice crying "it’s Grandadbob yer silly banana". It’s charming at first but soon becomes irritating. The Daft Punk influence can be heard in the overwhelming array of odd noises on the final tracks Anger Thy Neighbour together with the appearance of the dreaded vocoder on City Approach, a shame as its clipped guitar sound is one of the highlights of the album. There are enough touches to indicate that if they can reign in this more self-indulgent side, there’s a great band waiting to appear. Robinson’s voice is superb throughout, and the album suffers when she doesn't appear, for example on the repetitive Your Mama. Waltzing For Weirdos is certainly a promising debut from the duo and definitely suggests greater things to come. If they can concentrate on the song writing and reign in the more annoyingly quirky side of mutant house, a truly great second album could well be the result. TRACK LISTING: 1. Monster 2. City Approach 3. Mmmmnn 4. Your Mama 5. This Is It 6. Maybe 7. Open Mouthed 8. 3am Gherkin 9. Just Show Me 10. Killed By Sweets 11. Kenny 12. Anger Thy Neighbour