When the Supertones were creating Hi-Fi Revival in 2002, Mojo, the band's chief songwriter, had a few too many songs that he didn't really want to heave-ho. The band came up with several ideas, such as making a 2 disc album, but the only idea they agreed on was a side project and releasing the songs under the moniker of Grand Incredible. GI consists of members Matt "Mojo" Morginski (vocals, bass) and Ethan Luck (guitars, drums). G.I. Gantic is 16 original tracks as well as Cindy Lauper's "Time After Time." The album's sound ranges from punk to acoustic ballads, offering something to please everyone.
"Anti-Prom" leads off the album, introducing us to a Matt we haven't seen with the Supertones before, a more vulnerable person beneath the thick skinned, church-scolding Mojo of the Loud and Clear days. Next we're lead right into "Big Is The New Small," that boasts some real thought-provoking lyrics like, "Let me learn by paradox that I've got to fall, If I wanna walk. That I hear a voice that doesn't talk, that didn't start and never stops," and I'd say one of my two favorite songs on the album. "You Had Me At Hello" is an-almost love letter with the chorus asking, "I'm not so bad, Do you think you could want someone like me?" Leading on to where the relationship has started, Mojo's telling the girl friend about how grace and love can conquer anything.
Their first radio single, "Salvation," aside from two sections of the song that sound like the Supertones' "Fire," could be one of the best on this record (with a great chorus reminiscent of The Who's "You Are Forgiven"). Following "Salvation" is the duo's cover of Cindy Lauper's "Time After Time." This really fits with the band because it talks about being on the road and with their long years in the Supertones they could really relate to it. It also gives us a glimpse into G.I.'s taste in 80's music. "Right On Time" is all about waiting for the bride God has chosen for Matt and will reveal to Him. The chorus is really catchy and sounds like something that could get big on pop radio. This next rocker is obviously inspired by The Clash, titled "The Days Are Evil," although the name doesn't really go with the song, with it being about the natural human inclination towards the sinful parts of life.
The theme of the album is supposed to be a basketball game with the first 7 songs labeled as the 'First Half', the next three being the 'Half Time', and the final 7 called the 'Second Half'. The 'Half Time" starts of with "Los Angeles" and gives you the feeling that it's supposed to be the team (The Lakers) singing, but "Robert Horry" is all about Matt's admiration for the publicity-free yet game-winning team member. To round it off, we have "Los Lakers Por Vida," a sort of a cheerleader song in the same spirit of "Los Angeles." "Rock Your Face Off" brings you 'back into the game' while song twelve, "Be Thou My Television," addresses something I've heard Matt and Ethan speak of in a lot of their interviews and in a certain Supertones song ("Return of the Revolution"), that being letting frivolous things like PlayStations and TV get in the way of the important things in your life. "I need to watch the television, This was a tough one to decide. Later I'll sing 'Be Thou My Vision', If I'm not too tired" It also features a really cool keyboard solo towards the end of the song, the only song that features keyboard on the album. "Most Beautiful Soul" is a song addressed to Matt's little brother while "Here We Go" is a really hard hitting song with great lyrics all about how we pursue different goals in life but we all meet the same end.
The acoustic "Corner Of The Sky" is a highlight of the album. It's really cool to hear Matt's feelings on touring and where his time in the Supertones has taken him. The next song "Forgiveness Again" possesses a very juvenile, young Christian-like idea, where we feel we need constant forgiveness for our sins. They close off this so close-to-perfect album with "California Shore" featuring Sarah Watkins of Nickel Creek on background vocals and fiddle. It's a really beautiful song with soothing lyrics, and ends in a really cool way so that when it's over you feel like it should go on and have more but just fades out and I liked that. If this is in any way a foreshadowing of the future Supertones' discs, then they will have listeners coming back for more for years to come.- Review date: 7/13/03, written by Joshua Encinias
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