Written By: Victor Alfieri
Label:Self-Released – Rating:
I woke up this morning and had this song playing in my head. People that know me wouldn’t find that strange. There is always something going on up there and any image, noise or idea can bring on a new tune. This particular tune played on all day. I couldn’t get rid of it, couldn’t escape it. This wasn’t a bad thing. I just couldn’t place it.
The relentless fast-pace guitar riffs, the strong steady backbeat of the bass drum, the melodic bass…it was right there. So familiar, yet brand new. Finally I sat down in my office and put on my headphones to work on this review. Fifteen seconds into the opening track, it hit me…Who the Hell ARE these guys???
You would never know listening to the tracks on Firmament that Gray Young was a trio or that this was their debut LP. The textures and complexity of the music told the story of a much more mature band. Layered guitar lines and driving drums play almost opposite of what becomes a melodious bass line.
As with many young bands these days, genres mean very little. The good bands, the ones that will survive, are bands that can crossover lines as if they aren’t there. Indie, post-rock, alt-rock, whatever you want to call Gray Young, they do it well. The one thing this band does not drive forward with is vocals. They are understated and not necessarily the focal point of this band. Seeing as how they are unsigned, it will be interesting to see if that changes in the future.
From Raleigh, NC, the band consists of Chas McKeown (guitar, vocals), Dan Grinder (bass) & Jeff Dopko (drums). They list U2 and Radiohead as musical influences and it shows. Coldplay can be thrown in the mix as well.
For post-rock type epic instrumentals, the tracks on this album are short and tight. The title track is the only one that goes over five minutes. One can imagine the band truly opens it up and gives these songs the open road on stage.