The Grand Delusion Longbranch Grand vision or smoke and mirrors?
There is an appropriately misleading quality to The Grand Delusion. The fifth album from German pop proggers The Intersphere sounds familiar in so many ways: there are alt-rock riff clichés, a clean nu-metal vocal straight out of the early 00s and those jerking guitar and drum thrashes first coined by Biffy Clyro. Yet all of these touchstones have been juggled and jumbled in such a way that it feels like an Eno cut-up. Things don’t start well: Don’t Think Twice is a slab of puce pop rock that sounds like the kind of meek B-side that the likes of Feeder would lay down on a spare studio day. Mind Over Matter has more cut and thrust to it, wrong-footing with snare snaps and aggressive guitar bursts that are interspersed amid big chords ’n’ chorus sections that might otherwise sound stale. Things get more compelling as the record progresses and stretches. Secret Place, Man
On The Moon and New Maxim, in particular, ably strike a balance between gut-punch and pop hook. Elsewhere the progressive elements are delivered in microbursts, amid some duller tropes. When it works though, we get anthemic pop rock with clever punctuation.