It’s no easy task for a band to progress their sound while retaining the distinctive elements honed in their early years. But Detroit’s the HandGrenades have pulled off this feat with aplomb, undergoing an evolution in both their physical makeup and sonic composition since forming in 2008. With 2011’s debut EP Three Cheers For the Wonder Years, the group established their trademark Beatlesesque melodies and three-part vocal harmonies, served with some garage rock edge and a bit of Motown flavor thrown in for good measure.
The paradigm continued in a more refined manner with 2012’s full-length The Morning After, singer-songwriters Nick Chevillet and Andrew Pawelski (also on guitar and bass, respectively) alternating and merging vocals, Tom Pawelski on second guitar and vocals, and Joby Kaslowski manning the drum kit. Two years on, Jesse Shepherd-Bates stepped in when Tom moved on and Joel Sanders joined to add keys to the mix. With 2014’s Zach Shipps-produced 52 EP, the newly configured quintet’s guitar-driven structures surge with galvanizing immediacy while displaying some more some ethereal, experimental tones.
Their latest video — for 52’s closing track, “Wrapped in Plastic” —premiered on PopMatters and the group is eying a sophomore LP on the horizon. In the meantime, catch them live to be privy to one of the mitten state’s most energetic group of ruffians.