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Grand National – Kicking the National Habit

Kicking the National Habit is the debut album from English duo Grand National; and if its acclaim across the pond is any sign, this freshman LP is a tell-tale introduction that hints emphatically towards an epic-length story.


The comparisons come simply: Happy Mondays, New Order, and all things Factory; but there’s also a 4AD element here with a bit of a progressive edge. Their post-progressive vibe knits in strings of up-beat Belle and Sebastian or a more popish Godspeed.

Every song holds it own character and uniqueness, making for a very cohesive album.

One example is “Talk Amongst Yourselves,” which lifts off with a vibrato key hook that causes us reminisce about grandma’s organ with the shoddy pre-fab rhythm settings and Michael Mann’s musak from Miami Vice. Trombone and acoustic guitar swoop in to lend personality to what was only humor at the onset. The icing hits the cake with a washing E.L.O. vocal approach that lends itself to pop symphonic textures.

These unique elements prove that Grand National have and immeasurable ingenuity, enabling them to make every track veritable underground hit. Finally, Grand National has gone international and we can now love them here in the old U.S. of A.


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