Thursday, April 4, 2013

Old Gray - An Autobiography

01. Wolves
02. Coventry
03. The Artist
04. Show Me How You Self Destruct
05. The Graduate
06. Emily's First Communion
07. I Still Think About Who I Was Last Summer
08. My Life With You, My Life Without You

This band's trajectory has been a pretty cool thing to watch. When I first became aware of them I listened to their demo which was a yelly collection of midwestern-esque emo songs with some noodly guitar riffs. If one were to jump from the demo straight to 'An Autobiography', the latter might give you pause because of how different it is, but I think that they have arrived at a sound that suits them, and they do it really damn well. This full length continues the stylistic groove that the band found themselves in with 'The Things I Let Go And Those I Refuse To'. Right from the beginning it's clear that this is going to be a meaningful record, as the sung group vocals of the introduction to 'Wolves' climax into heavy intensity and speed off into choppy and punctuated drums and passionate screams. When the melodic group "chorus" re-enters at the end, it's a perfect bookend to the song that introduces the paths that will be explored on the rest of the record. That being said, Old Gray isn't content being a one trick pony. They certainly rely on expected elements of screamo - shouted vocals, chaotic and choppy drums, intense passages punctuated by clean guitar - but they adorn this framework with their own flairs, incorporating post-rock tremolo picking, spoken word passages, and glimpses at their past releases like occasional noodly riffs. I like a lot of bands that play a similar style, but it's hard to articulate just what it is about 'An Autobiography' that makes it stand out so much to me. The pacing is perfect, placing songs with spoken word sections at key moments to break up the intensity, and the inclusion of guest vocals by Cerce's Becca Cadalzo creates a really great dynamic. Fans of 'The Things I Let Go...' will not be disappointed by this stylistic expansion, and this stellar LP stands as a perfect place to start for listeners who are new to the band.

Reviewed by Justin.

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1 comment :

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