GRAND THEFT CULTURE – Grand Theft Culture

Grand Thedt Culture - GTCI’m not a radio guy. Never was one and probably never will. But when I’m in the car with my son or anyone else that makes hard listening impossible, some rock radio station will do as background noise. One rare occasion when the radio – for some weird reason – was one while I was by myself in the car, I heard this damn catchy tune playing. The song was already in the chorus when I turned the key and started the car and I instantly reached for my phone and tried to Shazam the tune, but of course, Shazam decided not to work and the damned DJ didn’t bother to let us know the name of the band and the song. I hate it when that happens! Fast forward a few days and a friend of mine posted a song by his “new favourite band” on Facebook and lo and behold, wasn’t it said song that teased me over the radio a few days back. So why didn’t I just keep on listening to the radio until I found the track, then? Well, as I said, I don’t do radio. I do my own records. The song in question was “Down The Line” (more on that later) and the band was Grand Theft Culture. Check-out time! So, who is this band? Well, apparently, these guys hails from Sweden and consists of singer / lead guitar player Michel Santunione (whose uncle is actually Electric Boys guitarist Franco Santunione), bass player Johannes Sandberg and drummer Markus Hjalsten. The fourth member of the band is a DJ, Erik Johansson which could led to believe that Grand Theft Culture is a nu-metal band 15 years too late. Well, they’re not, even though the flirtation with that genre is obvious. No, this is melodic hard rock with an attitude and huge musical skills. So don’t let the DJ thing deter you from giving this album a go. Well, album… yes, it turned out that this album wasn’t an album as in long player, but a mini album, a four track thing. I hate those. Especially when they’re good. I want albums – at least 10 songs to rock out to. But four songs is what we’re given here, so let’s just be happy for those.

“Down The Line” is the song that opens this four track and it has a melody and a chorus so contagious, no doctor in the world can find a cure strong enough. It’s melodic hard rock that makes out with a more modern kind of rock, but the song is just bloody fantastic and it has HIT written all over it. “Pushed Around” goes in to a funkier groove and has a more aggressive Electric Boys kinda vibe with a twist of Linkin Park baked in. It’s a killer tune even though I could do without the scratching. “Cut You To Pieces” is a brilliant hard rocker that has the late 80’s / early 90’s melodic rock spooning with the alternative hard rock from 1998, all done with an effusive panache. But best of all is “Touch The Sky”, a melodic rock killer with an imminent influence from the early 90’s. This should be the next single, even though I think that all four tracks are single material. When all four songs are such killers, it pisses me off that we only get four tracks served. I want to hear more because I know that if they’re able to write songs awesome as these, they won’t have any difficulties to come up with an additional six or so songs that also delivers. I have only one problem here and that is the scratching that gives the sound an alternative nu-metal vibe, but on the other hand, it does not shadow the music or takes over by any means, it’s just there in the background and when you get a four track as fantastic as this, I can live with that. Also, the musicians are world-class and in Santunione they have not only a guitar hero, but also a great voice. But just like the other high score mini albums I have reviewed (Heart Of Stones, The Northern Cowboys), I need to stress that it’s only four songs so it’s not the same thing as ten tracks hitting pay dirt, not to minimize the quality of the songs here. I would be surprised if stardom doesn’t hide behind the corner for these guys. With studious touring and a full length album under their belt, a resplendent future will await for them. Until that full length album shows up, buy this!
Jon Wilmenius (10/10)

1. Down The Line
2. Pushed Around
3. Cut You To Pieces
4. Touch The Sky


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