GrandEvolution keeps ’90s alt-rock alive

Often, bands change their style to adapt to the times. GrandEvolution, however, is ’90s alternative angst to the core. Most GrandEvolution songs sound like they should be playing while James Van Der Beek waits out on your front lawn for you to forgive him. In the rain, at that. Getting his sweater vest and cargo jeans soaked in the process. Poor James; come on in.

GrandEvolution consists of husband-and-wife combo Sarah Kenyon and Scott Kenyon, along with Greg Bromberg and Ray Celona. Sarah met Scott in 2001, when the two were performing with different acts at The Living Room in Providence. The couple made music together for years before finally finding Bromberg at a wedding to help out on bass. After posting an ad for a guitarist online, Celona auditioned, and GrandEvolution was formed. If you listen to any of GrandEvolution’s work, the inspiration will be easy to spot. The Cranberries can’t help but come to mind. From Sarah’s vocals to the rhythms and melodies, it’s an ode to the late Dolores O’Riordan and The Cranberries.

Despite their distinct vintage sound, the band claims to have taken inspiration from several acts. “My biggest early influence was the Cranberries,” said singer Sarah Kenyon, “and all four of us like ’90s alternative rock. However, Scott likes a lot of metal and ambient rock like Black Sabbath and Radiohead. Greg and Ray like other stuff, too”

Bromberg slaps bass like his favorite musician, Geddy Lee, of Rush, and is a huge Zeppelin fan, as well. Celona likes to envision his licks pay homage to the great Slash, as he’s a fan of Guns N’ Roses.

GrandEvolution’s most-recent release, Tell Me Why, is business as usual. The nine-track album was released April 10. Produced by Chris David, the band stays true to their roots, as they pump out more of what got them popular in the New England area. Especially with the 30-plus demographic, which remembers what it was like to hear this music the first time around.

Track 1, “Hey Drama Queen,” does a great job of pulling you in. The melody is slow, yet heavy, and sets the tone for the emotional roller coaster that is the rest of the album. It continues with Track 2, “Ghost,” where Sarah’s lyrics feel very personal and specific, yet still relatable. There’s a great flow throughout the rest of the album, and it all wraps up with “Stranger.” The final track is carried by a chilling piano melody. The perfect instrument to make an impactful and memorable final track.

GrandEvolution debuted their new work at The Cove on Green Street in Worcester on April 21. Another local show is lined up for May 19 at The Tradesman Pub in Milford. So, find your Abercrombie & Fitch visor and your puka shell necklace and let GrandEvolution take you on a trip down memory lane.

Ryan Massad


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