Fronted by Mat Brooke, formerly of Band Of Horses and Carissa’s Weird, Seattle’s Grand Archives is a dreamy, low-key project that is chock full of surprising but subtle twists and darkened turns. The music has a very West Coast folk feel, with its vocal harmonies and guitar rich songs that sometimes build and gust like the wind off the ocean, yet never feel like they’re too much to navigate through.
Opener “Topsy’s Revenge” is a hushed, bittersweet tribute to Topsy, a circus elephant gone loopy, whose electrocution in 1903 is immortalized in an old newsreel filmed by Thomas Edison. The pace picks up a bit as the album progresses, but the shady mood remains, even in the more upbeat songs like “Witchy Park/Tomorrow Will (Take Care Of Itself)” and the album closer, “Willoughby,” which are both superb and showcase the band’s subtle stormy edge and interesting song structures. A little darker than their self-titled 2008 debut, Keep In Mind Frankenstein is a nice sophomore effort that tends to grow on the listener and is absolutely worthy of the attention it will undoubtedly receive.