Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Grains - Stone Street

I was sent this record by the guitarist of The Grains, Scott. He described this New Jersey outfit as a punk rock'n'roll band with some former members of the Measure [SA]. I'm not sure that I really hear any punk influence; rather, this seems more of a case of Bruce Springsteen meeting some Rockabilly style. In other words, perhaps it's some guys who used to play in punk or hardcore bands and have since opted to play adult music that your friend's cool dad would probably be into.

Within the 10 songs on this record we get clean, tremelo guitar laced with a hint of reverb occupying the front and center. Steady drums and walking bass lines provide the backbone. There's some subtle keys and what sounds like a theremin adding to the support.

When The Grains keep things slow, like on "The Lift" or "Mercenary Pallbearer" I tend to enjoy it more. Those tracks come off as the most natural and honest to me. They seem to trade off the vocal duties making some tracks work nicely, while others appear very off key (listen to "Bourbonomics" or "Mio Secolo" for the off key examples). This tends to make the consistency and momentum of the album sort of hard to follow. The faster material will have you picturing yourself riding a motorcycle through some back country Southern road. If that's your thing, than put on your headphones, hop on a Harley and go to it.

Check it out here.