This Bozeman-based trio’s debut EP cooks. The gritty rockers, all of whom have been on the Bozeman music scene for awhile, formed the band shortly after lead singer Dustin Tucker’s dad, Tex, passed away. The elder Tucker was a fixture in the local music world for many years, playing a red acoustic Gibson guitar, which Dustin inherited. The guitar motivated Golden Grenade’s project.
Guitarist Tucker wrote the lyrics and came up with verse/chorus ideas, and the band as a whole arranged the tracks in an underground military bunker (yep!). The six songs are soulful and husky, and exhibit great pacing and style. Bassist/vocalist Noah Heckmann and drummer Levi Kujala flesh out the sound, and Heckmann’s and Tucker’s synchronized baritones create seamless harmonies. It all makes the trio’s sound big.
“Waste” opens with a straight-ahead rock beat, as a thick, brawny guitar bit underlies the lyric. Tucker sings a message for the human race – “We’ll see what Karma has to say,” he intones; then the melody turns pretty, and a riffy interlude follows. Sounding hopeful, maybe?
“Mama Was Right” has trembly hard-rock chops and oh-oooohs introducing the tight harmony lead singing. Bass and drums pulsate. “That’s a girl that’ll never get old, and you never wanna take her home,” go the lyrics. Make a choice, boy, the girl or your mom. It’s got a chilling suggestion that ends the song, giving pause for thought.
The reggae-flavored “Everybody Wants Some” is a hip-shaker with pop nuances, and “Inside My Head” has a slow, bluesy rock beat. Tucker and Heckmann sing a perfectly timed hook as the guitar rips off a searing break, like a slow-moving freight train.
Look for Golden Grenade’s performance on PBS’s “11th and Grant with Eric Funk,” coming in January 2018. These guys will light it up!
– Mariss McTucker