Grand National – Kicking The National Habit

First album from London duo offering "fantasy pop version of post-punk"

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Grand National began life when Lawrence “La” Rudd (vocals) and Rupert Lyddon (instruments), now in their late twenties, played in a band that performed cover versions of Queen and Police songs on the west London pub circuit. The influence of “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” is less discernible on their much-delayed debut than the bleach blond boys?”Playing In the Distance”, the first track Rudd and Lyddon wrote together, has the choppy urgency of “Roxanne”, while throughout Rudd approximates Sting’s aerated yodel. Elsewhere, touches of ska (“Boner”) and ethereal dream-rock (“Litter Bin”) betray a penchant for late-’70s guitar experimentation, alchemised here by a brilliant pop sheen.

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