Posts Tagged ‘Greys’

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The ten-song, 39-minute long player delivers on the promises the Toronto quartet made on 2015’s Repulsion EP, placing the band in more spacious environments and letting them build upon their noise rock foundation by incorporating new textures and dynamics to temper their trademark onslaught of discordance, which was already perfected on their debut record, 2014’s If Anything. Where their formative material saw them paying homage to their heroes, the new album sees Greys making a concentrated effort to realize their own sound. Whether that means employing tape drones, drum machines and synthesizers as noise-making tools on “Sorcerer,” or breaking into a three-part harmony adorned with sleigh bells in the middle of the hardcore intensity found on “In For A Penny,” these four young men prove that they are more than up for a challenge.

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In a very literal way, singer/guitarist Shehzaad Jiwani has made it clear on this record that he wants his voice to be heard. Each song contains a sweet-and-sour earworm that brings his characteristically self-aware, often satirical lyrics to the forefront, and his serrated shout is almost entirely swapped for a more tuneful approach. Almost. Lyrically, his focus has sharpened, moving from inward to outward. This is best evident on first single “No Star,” wherein Jiwani addresses the aftermath of the shootings at Bataclan in Paris by declaring, “Don’t shoot/I’m not the enemy.”

“It’s difficult to feel like you have a voice in these situations when you’ve grown up in a predominantly white community and don’t identify with either side,” explains Jiwani. “On the one hand, some people are attacking anyone who looks remotely like you, but on the other hand, the people who are trying to defend you are also speaking on your behalf, taking away your voice. It’s like I had nowhere to turn because no one was listening to me, like I wasn’t able to speak for myself.”

Each song filters its subject matter through Jiwani’s wryly incisive perception of those topics, from a news story about a group of teens barbarically murdering their classmate on album opener “Cruelty,” to the advent of technological singularity on closer “My Life As A Cloud.” Elsewhere, on “Blown Out,” the frontman confronts his own mental health by painting it in the context of a relationship with a partner who doesn’t fully understand the unrelenting complexities of depression. The climax of the song sees him wailing, “I want you to see/There’s something wrong with me,” which would be a harrowing moment if it wasn’t the single catchiest song Greys have ever written.

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With their intense live show documented admirably on their previous releases – and honed alongside bands like Death From Above 1979, Viet Cong, Speedy Ortiz, Cloud Nothings, Perfect Pussy and their Buzz Records brethren Dilly Dally – the four piece sought to explore their more atmospheric tendencies on Outer Heaven. Produced by longtime collaborator Mike Rocha at the hallowed Hotel 2 Tango studio in Montreal (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor), the record displays unprecedented depth and range for Greys, calling to mind groups as disparate as Sonic Youth, Swell Maps and The Swirlies without ever losing sight of what defines the band – a distinct mixture of melody and dissonance, order and chaos, volume and substance.

 

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GREYS – ” Blown Out “

Posted: April 17, 2016 in MUSIC
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In a few weeks, feedback-happy Toronto punks Greys will release their sophomore album Outer Heaven, and they’ve already shared the first single No Star.” And now they’ve got a video for the tuneful skree-punk song “Blown Out,” and it’s a powerful one. Greys frontman Shehzaad Jiwani co-directed it with Allison Johnston, and it tells the story of depression tearing a woman up inside. It flashes back and forth between her internal life and a rough conversation in a coffee shop.

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GREYS – ” The Voyeur “

Posted: January 4, 2016 in MUSIC
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Last year, Greys released the most arguably underrated punk album with their LP If Anything, an insane, abrasive record full of angst, skate jams, clever lyrics, and interesting melodic vocals. While the group hasn’t recorded a follow-up album, the short and furious Repulsion serves as a sweet reminder that the band is still kicking. “The Voyeur” is a fast raucous with distortion and crashing instrumentals; “I’d Hate To Be An Actor” is a slow-churning step into grunge with dull delivery and a dreamy hook over guitars that seem to malfunction into mayhem; “Nothing Means Anything” turns frantic and heady before all pieces sloppily begin aligning toward the song’s ending. This 3-track EP is the perfect introduction to Greys, or a solid follow up to If Anything. Either way, it’ll hold you over until their next full-length.