In Svbterranean’s Album Dissections, artists break down the construction and/or lyrical themes of their records track by track.
Back in October, London’s Gramma Vedetta released their infectious debut EP, Proof of Concept. Painting with shades of stoner rock, grunge, and hard rock, Gramma Vedetta‘s Proof of Concept is a ludicrously catchy ode to the heavyweights of the aforementioned genres. To dig a little deeper into the record, vocalist and guitarist Dan Murroni agreed to break down the EP for our Album Dissections column. Check out what he had to say below.
The EP Proof of Concept features 7 songs written during the first year of Gramma Vedetta’s life as a band. All songs were born with the band jamming on riffs and ideas brought by the individual band members. On a foundation composed of solid bass lines and drum patterns, we built guitars which go from classic rock/stoner/grunge riffs to psychedelic fugues.
I wrote all the lyrics of the album. I usually use allegories to hide the real meaning of a song. Sometimes I’m more straightforward or nonsensical, like in the track “Taranto Train to Toronto Town.”
The album was recorded in London and Italy from August to December 2017. It was mixed and mastered in Spain by Guillermo ‘Will’ Maya, the producer of The Answers and The Heretic Horder.
Behind the Blinds
Originally this song was an acoustic blues song I wrote a couple of years ago. In the studio, it became harder and more proggy. And we liked it!
Keeping a shuffle groove on the main parts, we then got crazy on the instrumental section with a whimsical guitar solo and odd time signatures. It’s hard-swinging blues with Rush and Led Zeppelin Influences. The lyrics are about the Council of the Elderly which observes everyone and everything from above to prevent people from getting hurt — but not everything is done with noble purposes in mind.
This a typical rock song that could have been written in 1997. It’s fast and heavy, with a hypnotic guitar theme which interleaves with melodic verse, a bluesy pre-chorus, and the explosive heavy vocals on the chorus. The lyrics are about that lazy and needy friend everyone has. Sometimes you can’t stand it at all, especially during a ‘Capture The Flag’ match on Unreal Tournament. LOL
Taranto Train to Toronto Town
The main idea of this song was brought by Marco on bass. I’ve added some harmonized guitar melodies that remind me of Balkan music. The lyrics are just Sardinian (and Spanish) towns which are the stops of a fictitious train that depart from Taranto (Italy) and terminates in Toronto.
This song is dedicated to two friends of mine — one born in Taranto and the other in Toronto who, meeting for the first time, tried to learn the pronunciation of each other’s city of origin… Unsuccessfully.
No guitar solo on this one! Bass is leading the scene in the ‘Faith No More-ish’ instrumental section.
She (Has a Plan)
This is the ‘love’ song of the album but after a Nirvana intro, the songs goes towards the Monster Magnet sound with leading Ozzy-esque vocals and a screaming monkey towards the end. It’s about the thing we love the most and that drive us crazy. Everyone has their own, pick your favorite.
The Other Side
Starting with a stoner Sabbathian riff, this song became a mix between the most melodic Megadeth and repetitive Nirvana. The instrumental section has some space for odd signatures and a small sci-fi guitar melody to bring the listener again towards the obsessive and repetitive lyrics. The song is about The Other Side. Everyone has been on both sides of everything. Just when you think you are in the right side, you realize that is not the good one… And vice versa.
This is the most stoner and doom song, keeping an eye towards the slower sounds of Soundgarden. We’ve built “Address Unknown” from a bluesy jam over two alternating chords while capturing everything we were playing. Thanks to the drop C tuning and the Big Muff, most of the guitar parts have Down/Corrosion of Conformity flavor; the bass has Geezer Butler and John Paul Jones as godfathers and a sober Ozzy Osbourne echoes in the vocal lines.
“Address Unknown” is about someone struggling to help a friend; he’s willing to take the risk to be drawn into the madness himself. This sentiment is translated in music during the psychedelic instrumental section.
I recorded this song in one guitar/vocal take and left as is with all the imperfections. The rest of the instruments were recorded on top of it, adding a spacey and psychedelic atmosphere.
The lyrics are personal and I guess they are self explanatory. It’s an intimate tune that’s perfect to close the album.