This Minneapolis trio, consisting of two brothers, Aaron (guitars/keys/vocals) and Christian (bass/keys/vocals) Ankrum and Reese Kling (drums) deliver their sophomore effort and I’m liking what I’ve heard – once again, trading on the warm soundscapes of ’80’s synth-pop and veering but never plunging into modern theatre-pop/rock, which is Borders‘ saving grace.
“Far From Me” has all the right textures of a great lost China Crisis track – something out of 1982 in all the ways I appreciate – pure ’80’s synth; “Echo” is a little more modern pop friendly, but has enough restraint that it remains a quality song and doesn’t go into bombast and “Opposites” is a sharp, taut, pop song with a capital “pop” (and this track shines with great production) – easily has hit potential by its radio-friendly timbre. “In Control” has some shades of Joy Division (because of its tempo) but the melody is bright, which would lead it more to a New Order-influenced piece; “Mystery” is another excellent and interesting track, as it starts as an acoustic-strummed number but then builds in a dynamic climax and “LFRF” is a high point – simple, stark but then full on the choruses.
In short, this is a fine and consistent piece of work from Grayshot. As I tend to opine, young bands of this nature have been great students of the ’80’s and in many ways, are improving upon the music I loved. This is yet another case of learning their craft well and then some.
Borders will be released on Friday, April 1st, 2016.