Grand Avenue is still one of rock’s best kept secrets. It's hard to explain why a band that does what Coldplay does (that is, channel U2 and other '80s stadium rockers) but does it better is still so unknown.
Even when frontman Rasmus Walter-Hansen made the ultimate PR sacrifice and dated supermodel Helena Christensen for a couple of years, it didn’t do much to raise their profile.
Perhaps the Danish foursome's problem boils down to "Björkism"—the expectation that Scandinavian bands have to be kooky (Björk), ethereal (Sigur Rós), or possibly death-metal suicidal (Sentenced).
Sounding just like any other rock group that grew up pinching reverb effects from U2 and funk-rock licks from INXS simply isn’t allowed if you’re a "Nord." This is a pity as the atmospherics and ringing, surging waves of guitar on earlier albums Grand Avenue (2003), She (2005), and Outside (2007) revealed a band worthy of a far wider audience.
Place to Fall is a somewhat weaker album, but still has its impressive moments in the title track and Almost Gone.
6th May, 2010