By Lane Oliver
Earlier this month, I received an email from an unsigned rock band from New York. The group calls themselves Greylist and describes themselves as a “dark rock trio”, which is actually a fairly accurate description of their sound. The band linked me to their debut album, Demonstration, which was recorded a mere two months after the band started playing together. Pretty impressive don’t you think? They asked me to review it and I am obligated to do so. So without further adieu, let’s explore Demonstration.
Demonstration opens up with a thunderous drum fill that leads into a very large sounding, melodic alternative rock riff that is dripping with distortion and spite on “Anxious”. This song reminds me of some of The Life and Time’s material, but manages to make its own. The song’s verses are fairly melodic while the choruses are a lot heavier, crunchier, and kind of remind me of a Helmet track. The vocals need to be noted for their baritone sound and for the fact that no matter how much melodious feel is added to them, they still sound dark. The vocalist reminds me a little of Evan Patterson of Young Widows, of whom I am a big fan of. The next track “Try Me” is a little less heavy than “Anxious” but those vocals still add a sort of melancholic feel to the music. “Frater Perdurabo” is a short, bass driven passage that leads into “7 Years”. “7 years” is definitely the softest of the six songs on this release. It reminds me a lot of the band, Depeche Mode. The droning, baritone vocals combined with massive, melodic instrumentation and the addition of an organ creates a very beautiful atmosphere. It’s definitely one of my favorite moments on the album. The next track, simply called “Intro” begins with samples of the hustle and bustle of a big city and then pulls out some heavy chords that will rattle your bones for a few seconds before ending. It’s kind of a pointless track really. It doesn’t flow into “Red Stretched Sky” or anything. It’s just a waste of space, but I digress. The final track, “Red Stretched Sky” is my favorite on Demonstration. It begins with the low, crawling grumble of the bass and with some very post-rock inspired riffs played in a minor key. As the song progresses, the instrumentation gets louder, noisier, and more rock oriented. “Red Stretched Sky’s” climax is huge and will destroy you with its gargantuan riffs and piercing distorted passages. It’s the album’s defining moment and definitely fits in with the “dark rock” label the band had given them.
The problems I had with this record were minor but should be noted. I thought (as I said above) that “Intro” was a pointless filler track. While “Frater Perdurabo” (another one of the album’s interludes) paved the way for “7 Years”, “Intro” is just pure pointless filler that adds nothing to the overall feel of the record. It should have been scrapped. I also didn’t like how “Red Stretched Sky” ended with two minutes of annoying feedback. I hate when band’s make a song longer than it should be by letting the feedback ring on and on and on. It’s just really redundant. I also thought the lyrics were kind of simplistic. You will see what I mean when you listen to it.
Overall, it’s a pretty decent record. I am sure that Greylist will get better as they grow up as a band. The songs are pretty good, but the amount of filler killed the initial buzz for me. If you like New Wave, alternative/hard rock, or progressive rock, you should give Greylist a listen.
Favorite Tracks: “7 Years”, “Red Stretched Sky”