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Grand Ole Party

San Diego-bred threesome brings big vocals to the garage-blues shindig.

Who? San Diego trio Grand Ole Party features Kristen Gundred (vocals/drums), John Paul Labno (guitar), and Mike Krechnyak (bass). The blues-infused outfit came together in 2005 while attending the University of California at Santa Cruz. Two years later, GOP landed the opening slot on Rilo Kiley’s fall tour, and earned a Best Alternative Band win at the 2007 San Diego Music Awards. Humanimals, the band’s debut long-player, drops this week via DH Records.

What’s the Deal? Many of the songs on Humanimals were played live for almost two full years before Grand Ole Party ever set foot in a recording studio. Such energy, combined with the assured production of Rilo Kiley’s Blake Sennett, makes this 13-song set a rich, gypsy-fueled rocker to remember. Gundred’s substantial pipes, which have been compared to Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O, may be center stage, but it’s her sultry phrasing — a careful mixture of anger, sadness and joyful defiance — that sets her apart. “Look Out Young Son” sets a tone of slinky strength, while “Roll On Down” is psychedelia worthy of Grace Slick, and “Radio” receives remix treatment courtesy of Dub legend, the Scientist.

Fun Fact: Grand Ole Party’s secret wish is to be the tour opener for OutKast. KAITLIN FONTANA

Now Hear This:
Grand Ole Party – “Look Out Young Son” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Grand Ole Party at MySpace

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