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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Grand Funk Railroad

Grand Funk

Review by Gary Hill

Another in the series of Grand Funk reissues, this one shows the band not straying too far from their home turf musically. Still, when your home turf is such a great blend of bluesy rock laced with fuzz bass and tasty guitar riffing, why not stay close to home? The disc definitely has its stronger moments and its weaker ones, but never sinks very low. Those peaks on the other hand can get quite high - witness "Paranoid", "In Need" and "Inside Looking Out". The end result is a release that should be a welcome sight to long time fans of GFR. Now, if the Hall of Fame guys would just turn around and let them in!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Got This Thing On The Move
This is a quirky, slightly odd rocking groove with that trademark GFR sound. A great frantic bass riff drops to a slightly psychedelic bluesy Zepish jam that turns very Hendrixish. This features that great fuzz sound of which GFR seemed to be the masters. The main riff returns to end the cut in a rather garageish fury. It is a fine, crunching track.
Please Don't Worry
This is a slightly jazzy jam that feels a bit like a rawer, more bluesy Guess Who. It features a very accessible chorus.
High Falootin' Woman
This is a straightforward, fairly generic rocker, but GFR lend a bit of class to a somewhat tired format.
Mr. Limousine Driver
A cool bluesy rocker, this has a thunderous intro and strong groove tone. The instrumental jam here is especially effective.
In Need
"In Need" is a fairly straightforward, slightly hippieish tune that eventually shifts to a very tasty bluesy jam based on a simple, but delectable bass line.
Winter And My Soul
This is another bluesy jam that has a solid '60's leaning. It evolves after a time into a jam based on a meaty bass guitar riff.
Paranoid
This trademark jam starts with a furious hard rocking wah guitar and fuzz bass dominated jam. It changes to a verse segment that is still based on the fuzz bass style. This has always been one of my personal favorite GFR cuts and it just has a lot of class.
Inside Looking Out
With its lyrics based around a man in prison for selling pot, it is obvious that the song was pushing for decriminalization of marijuana. The lyrics don't get trite, though, and take the less traveled road. This is quite a strong cut, and the bass here provides much of the charm and power of the piece.
Nothing Is The Same (Demo)
The first of two bonus tracks on this CD, this is a solid rocker, but definitely not a standout. Still, being a bonus, what do you expect for free?
Mr. Limousine Driver
This alternate take on the cut is slightly rawer and about a minute longer than the version first officially released.
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