A few short months ago, I introduced you to Grey Lands, the Ontario-based trio, with their single, “Another Lie”. And now, the band has made quite good on their promise of energetic guitar-rock with their debut album, Right Arm. Following in the melodic-but-sludgy guitar traditions of Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine (but at a much more tempered volume), this collection of eight songs gives us a chance to see what these young men can do.
Things get off to a good, uptempo and melodic start with “False Alarm”, which paces along at a nice clip – the production is good; fine mix of the vocals to fit the guitar and a nice twist of turning the throttle up with the minor chord shifts in the middle; “Lo-Fi Junkie” has a wry-ness to it, along with a streamlined, ’80’s new wave feel and a very catchy chorus and “Arabian Nights” is crisp, stark and clean-sounding power pop with stellar vocals. “Go The Wrong Way” reminds me of the mid-period Siouxsie & The Banshees (think Kaleidoscope) and is a high point of this album and “Collide And Conquer” is another driving number and is an instrumental, which is an interesting way to close this record out – a good piece of music, showing that this band can keep the listener’s attention by not having to sing of every track (and a damn fine bit of playing).
What I find intriguing and likable about Grey Lands is that they don’t overplay; they know how to use restraint with the “less is more” ethic and it serves these songs very well. Strong melodies and crafting tells me we’ll hear more from this band in the coming years. Which is fine with me.
Right Arm is available now