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Gruhak – Make a Stand

One thing is clear, these guys mean business!


On first encountering the sleeve of the debut album from Croatian classic rockers Gruhak I was convinced I was about to subject myself to fifty minutes of pedestrian, pub rock banality. This was in no small part due to the band’s proclamation of being “the rebirth of classic rock”. I’ve never heard that before! However, within ten seconds of listening to the opening track of Make a Stand my inner cynic was promptly frog-marched from the room and in stepped my younger, cooler self, sporting bell bottoms and a funky  floral shirt (I chose to dispense with the obligatory elbow length collars and an equally generous chest wig). The album starts off with the song Free, and right away Gruhak stamp their identity on your cerebral cortex. One thing is clear, these guys mean business! Lead singer Boris has a voice that is gravelly and fits this genre perfectly, but he is also able to emote with sensitivity to the more lyrical music this band can so naturally produce. Many tracks stand out with resplendent harmonies, cool guitar riffs, Chuck Berry solo snippets and Bonham-esque drums, all of which evoke the halcyon days of classic rock when acts such as Led Zeppelin triumphantly roamed the earth.

Going further, one could draw more modern-day parallels with bands such as Bon Jovi, The Black Crows, English rockers Reef right up to American rockers Black Stone Cherry. Make a Stand is a great debut album that keeps the listener engaged throughout a journey that pays homage to the classics whilst at the same time spinning its own brand into the mixture. However, Gruhak are by no means a mere tribute act and any naysayers are invited to step in line and listen to one of the stand out tracks, End of Days, which surely cements Gruhak’s growing reputation as being worthy torch bearers for this much beloved genre. Viva la rebirth!

Reviewed by Stephen Love and Andy Roles

Editor
Editor of LLR since 2005

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