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In The Groove
'If You Only Knew' GrandEvolution way back when
By: Don DiMuccio

When it comes to “young” bands trying to elbow their way through the ever-burgeoning conflux of artists and somehow separating themselves from the pack, it can seem to the outsider as an exercise in futility.  Everybody has a band, everybody plays gigs for family & friends at their local watering hole, and thanks to Mister Gates and Microsoft, everyone with a bedroom and a laptop is a studio engineer.  So how does one outshine the others?  They become prolific songwriters and recording artists.  Grandevolution is one such act.

Since 2001, Grandevolution have been sharpening their skills by playing over 200 gigs, and releasing some highly-lauded projects, including a pair of critically acclaimed E.P.’s.  The latest effort, their first full-length CD “If You Only Knew”, might just be the best of the bunch.   Led by the extremely attractive Sarah Kollet, this power-pop / indie-rock outfit lay down twelve convincing performances which forebodes great things to come for the trio.  Already, the band has been garnering some notable attention.  In addition to heavy airplay from indie-oriented programs on WAAF, WBCN, and WHJY, the aforementioned Ms. Kollett has been twice nominated in The Phoenix Music Poll for best female vocalist, and their track “Covered In Roses” for best song.  However, one gets the feeling Grandevolution aren’t easily satisfied with achieving the status quo. Whereas a lot of bands would be content with completing their project entirely within their own zip code, the trio decided on a roadtrip to Birmingham, Alabama to seek out the studio skills of Jason Elgin, all in the name of obtaining a specific desired mix.  Now that’s dedication to the Nth degree!

Expanding upon that theory, one needs only to look at the second track on their disc entitled “Star”.  In and of itself, it’s a catchy song with strong backing and solid lyrics.  But once again, Grandevolution push their limits and go that one extra step by releasing an accompanying video for the song (available on their myspace site:  Now last I checked, they weren’t giving film production away at the local Wal-Mart.  So one can only assume this endeavor came at considerable expense to the band.  Once again,  Grandevolution demonstrate that certain level of dedication which can only bode well for their future in the industry.

Although all the songs on “If You Only Knew” are examples of well-crafted power-pop, some standout tracks include “Ramble”, “Where I Last Left You”, and of course the album’s title track.  Throughout, Kollett’s voice is sweet yet convincing.  It isn’t that hard to imagine any of these songs used in the background of a T.V. show like FOX’s “The O.C.” or one of the omni-present MTV teenie-pop-brat vehicles like “My Sweet 16” or “Made”.  To attain that end, Grandevolution has secured the services of a production company to do that very thing - once again proving their penchant for pushing the envelope and getting themselves heard on a grander scale than most in their position.

Like their name suggests, Grandevolution are in the constant process of expanding, growing, and developing their proficiency.   Though not yet on par with more fully developed acts in their genre like Illustrious Day, this indie alternative-pop trio is doing all the right things to get to where they undoubtedly are going.  Frankly, I’m glad to say I knew them when.

Copyright © 2006 Motif Magazine LLC