Ears Wide Open: Golden State


You could probably write a tome about singer-guitarist James Grundler’s decade-plus adventures in rock music. For his part, Grundler has written songs, plenty of them, and many of which you’ve heard in movies and TV shows. Grundler, who first made noise with the Din Pedals in the late ’90s and then fronted Paloalto for two Rick Rubin-produced albums early last decade, is now doing business as Golden State. And if his new project embraces largely the same aesthetic – muscular anthems reminiscent of British arena rockers such as U2, the Catherine Wheel and Muse – Grundler’s point of view has changed. Now in front of a lineup that includes guitarist Marc Boggio, bassist Alex Parnell and drummer Fern Sanchez, the songwriter takes a more observational, rather than personal, tack on Golden State’s forthcoming debut album, “Division.” Because it’s a messed-up world, kids, getting jilted is worth only so much angst. One song, “All Roads Lead Home,” has already made it into the trailer for the movie “Dolphin Tales,” and the single “World on Fire” is a meat-and-potatoes modern rocker that tastes awfully familiar but is so hearty it won’t let go. All part of a balanced musical diet, I say.

||| Download: “World on Fire”

||| Live: Golden State performs May 18 at the Viper Room and May 24 at the Silverlake Lounge.