Every so often, a group appears from the ether to demonstrate the spirit of a regional band; unbridled energy combined with a powerful sense of unity and solidarity. Hailing from the white sands of Esperance in WA, Grand Casual fit the mould perfectly.
The three-piece blues-rock outfit made a name for themselves with their old-school, full-throttle approach to both writing and performing. To them, appearances mean nothing, ditto conventions. Their latest single, Western Border, is perhaps their most concentrated example of this ethos yet.
Grand Casual have released a rollicking new single, Western Border. The Esperance lads’ latest effort brings a reinvigorating energy to the world of alt-rock.
After earning a nomination for Best Regional Act at the West Australia Music Awards in 2018, Grand Casual had laid the perfect foundations for the next step. This materialised through the expertise of Andy Lawson at Perth’s Debaser Studios, resulting in the band’s first handful of polished recordings.
Western Border is the fourth release from the Debaser sessions, and sees them step out from the Black Keys-inspired sounds of its predecessors. It’s a left turn befitting of Grand Casual’s anti-conventional enthusiasm, bringing elements of alt-rock and hip-hop into the fray.
A driving, propulsive rhythm and an infectious hook characterise the first half of the track. These elements on their own would constitute a complete song in many cases. However, Grand Casual clearly had other ideas, and the payoff is huge.
An abrupt dance groove pulls the track into a brand new dimension. Meanwhile, frontman Kyron Smithson lays down an eccentric, hip-hop-infused vocal take. Unsurprisingly, this experiment has cemented Western Border as a setlist favourite. In a press release, Smithson describes it as “Our strongest song to date. It was an absolute dream to record and is full of energy whenever we play it live.”
Western Border, with its genre-defying style, is executed wonderfully and with performances of sheer vigour. Ultimately though, it demonstrates Grand Casual’s constant drive to simply have fun with what they do, making them a truly compelling prospect.
You can check out Western Border above.