Gateway to Dignity

Grand Ulena


Released February 4, 2003


  • 1.   Between Tholozan and Oleatha (10:47)
  • 2.   Total Joplin (4:09)
  • 3.   Jennings Station One (1:02)
  • 4.   Gravois Means Rubble (2:24)
  • 5.   Crowbar at Crescent and Cricket (8:41)
  • 6.   Whispering Pines (2:10)
  • 7.   Grand Arsenal (10:13)

St. Louis-based alien complexity rock group of ex-Dazzling Killmen/On Fillmore bassist Darin Gray. Rounded out by guitarist Chris Trull and drummer Danny McClain - Grand Ulena is a solidification of rock music, rhythm, jazz and it splintered offshoots. Grand Ulena is disjunct rhythms played at high velocity. Disjunct beats played under broken and jagged melodies. Repetition of the retarded. Complex structures combined with complete and utter failure. Failed soloing combined with rigid riffery. Extended instrumental techniques forged into song.

"Grand Ulena challenges and defies expectations of what a guitar-bass-drum trio is supposed to deliver with this debut album, a merciless parade of asymmetrical rhythmic interplay, jagged-edged guitar-bass dissonance, and grindcore-influenced blastbeat drumming. More than just interesting on a cerebral level, the seven tracks here -- ranging in length from one minute to nearly 11 -- burn with an exciting level of no wave/noise rock-type intensity and energy." -- All Music Gudie

"This is strictly foreground music that, on first listen, feels like it's mocking you and your quaint expectations of what a guitar-bass-drum trio is supposed to deliver. There is some kind of hidden logic at work here, though, buried amid the barrage of guitar-bass dissonance, hiccuping rhythmic interplay, and grindcore-strength blast-beats. There has to be, otherwise these songs wouldn't start making sense - much less start sticking in your head - after only the third or fourth time around." -- William York, San Francisco Bay Guadrian