FFO: Title Fight, Basement, I Was Afriad, Citizen
Standout song: Memories / Music As It Means
Minnesota-based quartet Greyscale describe themselves simply as “We’re a band and we have feelings.” and their debut EP certainly proves that within its 6 tracks…
The opening chords of first track Memories ring out and hook you before some Jamie Rhoden-esque vocals cry through (“I remember, laying in my bed, playing my records, you were holding my hand!”) and ignite the song. The guitars build up to outbursts of sharp tempo changes from slower to faster moments and the head-bobbing groove at the end is totally infectious. There’s a big element of the sound heard on The Last Thing You Forget era of Title Fight and Greyscale deliver it with youthful ferocity. Seeker is heavier and full of punk spite, bringing a darker atmosphere from the bands other singer, the rough yet audible vocals balance well against the previous. Both voices are noticeably different but each mould to the music perfectly and although the lyrics focus on desolation and heartbreak Greyscale manage to avoid sounding whiny or cliche.
Slowest song on the EP, Music As It Means, is a huge highlight as it blends vocals over gentle and melodic guitar playing. The pained lyrics are heartfelt and show a real honesty to the band as they address their love for writing music… (“I do it to stop, this depression from flowing, to stop these thoughts, and from finally knowing. To stop this bomb inside me, from finally exploding, to stop myself from finally, pulling the trigger.”) It’s an emotionally cathartic song that calms the momentum slightly before leaking into Mimi which shows Greyscale’s guitar driven sound at its finest. The opening riffs, rhythm and vocals remind me of something you’d hear on Basement’s Songs About The Weather but with an American tint.
Greyscale deliver a raw twist to their pop punk formula with a sound that’s rooted in 90’s/early 2000’s alternative and emo.An Open Letter to my Father is another song full of blistering emotion and anger aimed at the vocalists father and lets the bands hardcore influences break through. There are hectic moments and the drumming stays articulate and meshes nicely with the thick bass. Winter closes the EP as one of the more poppy songs here, it’s undeniably bouncy and finishes things off nicely.
Overall: Greyscale don’t make too much of an effort to disguise their influences but if you can see past that you will find a collection of expressive and enjoyable songs. For a debut this is hugely impressive and their impassioned delivery and dynamic give the album a great flow that stands out from their peers. This EP is full of youthful, angst-riddled energy that is expressed with raw delivery and talent upon a foundation that leaves them plenty of space to build from.
Kurt Cobain sang Nirvana’s song School off of Bleach and to Kurt’s surprise the audience knew every single word and sang along. This photo was taken immediately after the crowd applauded for Kurt for almost two minutes straight; right before he began the next song. According to photographer and close friend Youri Lenquette, tears filled Kurt Cobain’s eyes due to joy. Youri claims that Kurt considered this night one of the highlights of his career.