GRIDDLE Beak (Your Permanent)

The press release describes Griddle as “a leading exponent of San Francisco’s prog-rock renaissance” which is purely an exercise in misinformation, because if your idea of prog involves the likes of Yes, Moody Blues or ELP, then remove those preconceptions now! However, if you want to believe that rock music can still be progressive in the true sense of that word then, let’s move on…

Griddle manages to coalesce elements of melodic rock ‘n’ roll, garage punk and traditional prog into one giddy rush, evoking in turns the Ramones, the Flaming Lips, the Minutemen and yes, even Van Der Graff Generator.

Listening to songs like “Metro to Norwood” with its prog riffs (reminiscent of Jethro Tull) colliding with jazz guitar runs and Todd Rundgren balladry, one is convinced that there is more to Griddle than meets the eye.

Sure, on rockers like “Give It Up” and “Like A Walk,” the sheer energy is palpably irresistible – the former edges dangerously close to powerpop territory with its hybrid of monster riff and gorgeous middle eight (fans of the Raspberries & Cheap Trick will be thrilled!) whilst the latter skirts and flirts with pop punk with its emphasis on pounding crunch and melodious naivety.

And it gets even better as “Available” betrays a jazz-rock bias ala Steely Dan and Sting, the clever “Hit Parade” finds a reference point with Todd Rundgren again and “A Movie About Me and You” chugs along with an edgy post-punk enthusiasm.

A startling discovery, for sure, make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity to witness modern pop-rock evolution in action. A+