Jan-Simon : When a record kicks off with a muffled trumpet, the first association is jazz or easy listening. One thing gets clear though, in the 75 minutes long Reset by Croat band / project Grinded Grin: this definitely is no easy listening. It is not that easy to determine the true nature of this band its music. Is it jazz, avant garde, a film score, modern classic, experimental, post rock, shoegaze, progressive or psychedelic rock? Probably it is a bit of everything and exactly that makes Reset quite a challenge for the average listener. Aleksandar Vrhovec, the main culprit and actually Grinded Grin on his own, calls his music "not very radio friendly" and I think he nailed it. Is there a radio station these days willing to play songs like Wretch pt. 1, a pastoral song that boils down to a four minutes long harp solo? And what band will put a grungy sludge metal track with saxophone (Pond Spinning) straight behind such a song?
I must be honest: it took me several turns to sit this record out. The first few times I only got half way before I gave up. Only after great perseverance, I managed to listen to all eleven songs in one session and miraculously the extraordinary beauty of this album revealed itself at that moment. The hired brass players provide a lounge atmosphere, but it does not get too much. Vrhovec incorporated enough weirdness and unusual takes to keep one awake. Perhaps it is bit too much, because I fear most people may not be able to handle this. From Residents like electronics and faux-African traditional music to psychedelic freak rock that is enhanced by a long anecdote told by Jerry Garcia about acid taking: not everybody his cuppa tea. Jackies Dream combines a subdued piano etude with samples of sleeping (snoring) people â€“ or is it something else? And to top it all off, there is Time-Lapse, a twenty minutes long concoction of trombone, synthesizer and shoegaze guitars, the ultimate song to end all parties. Play this when it is time for your guest to leave: success guaranteed!
In short, Reset is the ideal record for the eclectic music lover or the snob that wants to be sure his or her latest musical discovery will not become mainstream all of a sudden (in other words, those who suffer from Nirvana-syndrome). Objectively speaking it is also a magnificently composed complex sonic layer cake. And as with real layer cake: enjoy it in small doses or you will spoil your appetite.