One thing I can say with certainty about The Graves Brothers Deluxe is that they are hard to classify. You can look at the instruments used on this album and know there is something different about this band. In addition to guitar, bass and drums, this band uses trumpet, trombone, alto and tenor sax, chimes, Wurlitzer and B3. So you can see how they might be difficult to peg.
They have a raw energy and sound similar to Iggy and the Stooges, but they also draw some other comparisons. The vocals on "Big Chain Store" remind me of Melvis from a local band called Graceland Mafia. The melody in the same song is experimental and jazzy, similar to Tortoise. Beyond that, they remind me a bit of Praxis with Buckethead and Brain. This requires a little more explanation. Like Praxis, The Graves Brothers Deluxe combine prominent guitars with skronky electronic sounds.
To thicken the plot further, there is a cover of "You Keep Me Hangin On" made famous by The Supremes. Certainly not what you'd expect from a band that can be compared to Iggy and The Stooges. And this is definitely not your parents' version of "You Keep Me Hangin On." With a lot of guitar feedback and raspy screaming vocals, it's a long way from Motown.
But, as they say in every infomercial ever made, that's not all. "Drinking at the Sea Star sounds like the kind of song that accompanies a beat poem in some dark café where everyone wears berets and the men wear Vandyke beards. They finish the album off with a free jazz song called "The Flame of the Inferno is a Jive Ass Hot Plate." If you think the title is interesting, just wait until you hear the song with it's honking and belching sounds.
This band is not afraid to try different things. Furthermore, it's pretty safe to say that they're not going for radio airplay with this album. They made the album they wanted to make and should be commended for that. This album isn't for everyone. It would be naïve for me to think that everyone will enjoy this album. However, if you like avant-garde experimental rock, you should give this album a shot.