Published on August 29th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Michael Grant & The Assassins: Always The Villain (Frontiers, 2020)
One of the most disappointing “could have been, should have been” stories from the early 2000s is Endeverafter. The band was led by Michael Grant, and had all the talent, charisma and energy to make it big, but never even delivered a follow-up to their 2007 debut Kiss Or Kill. Grant spent a few years playing guitar for L.A. Guns, but he’s finally back with a new band called Michael Grant & The Assassins.
Michael Grant & The Assassins’ debut album is titled Always The Villain, and if you want to pretend it’s a long-awaited Endeverafter follow-up album, I certainly won’t judge you. Grant, who sings and plays pretty much every instrument here, channels every bit of that classic Endeverafter energy on this album, plus a slightly more modern vibe that shows that he’s been around the block a few times. There’s some heart and soul to go with the high-energy rock n’ roll party. Always The Villain is super-melodic and upbeat, but with the kind of modern glam polish you might expect from a Ryan Roxie or Casablanca album. It works very well, especially on songs like “Anthem Of Us,” “Barrell Of A Gun” and “Death Of Me.”
It’s so good to have Michael Grant making new music again, especially when the result is this damned good. Everyone who played the hell out of Kiss Or Kill when it came out (and who probably still spin it to this day) should put Always The Villain at the top of their buy list right away. It’s just a fantastic, really fun rock n’ roll album, and one that fans of The Defiants, Tokyo Motor Fist, Bloody Heels, Black Swan, Casablanca and hard rock in general ought to hear.
Summary: Close your eyes and pretend it's the second Endeverafter album