Drive Like Jehu
3. The Way of All Flesh
5. Queen of the Harpies
6. Telegraph Hill
Your RatingCreate an account or log in to rate this album
It was bound to happen based on the history of music, but in the past few years, there has been quite a renaissance with regard to 90s music. Hopefully, the post-grunge scene (at least the radio rock portion) will see its demise soon, but that’s not the point. The point is that for those that grew up in the 90s, there will always be some sentimentality about certain sounds and genres prominent in that decade.
Outside of the birth of grunge, the 90s brought us the genesis of post-hardcore and noise rock, both of which Toronto’s Greys take to heart with their second EP, Easy Listening. Of course, this album is far from easy listening. Go ahead; try putting this on the next time your grandparents come over for a visit. I’m sure they will appreciate how easy this is to listen to. Don’t think that the album is devoid of melodicism, however. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, these Canucks pack more boisterous and loud hooks into their punkish sound than is typical of the genre. Every one of the six songs features a melody that, while it doesn’t belong on the radio, can ingrain itself in your cranium. With one listen, it is clear that bands like Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu influenced the sound of the album; however, the group weaves them into their own sound well enough to silence cries of plagiarism. Instead of straight-ahead throwback post-hardcore, Greys utilizes a mix of punk energy, a noise rock ethos, and riffs that marry the stoner and hardcore traditions.
The album has some minor issues that hold it back slightly, though. The best songs on the album are the pair of sub-two-minute tracks that ooze energy, but both tracks end too abruptly for their own good. The other issue will be the most significant point of contention with the band: the vocals. Aside from the occasionally melodic note, the majority of the lyrics are delivered in a slightly atonal scream/yell hybrid. It’s all rather off-putting at first, but when combined with the energy of the rest of the instruments, the resulting audio product is not harmed by the vocal work. Easy Listening is so full of attitude and fun that the minor flaws don’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the record. The fact that the band spices up the traditional post-hardcore sound makes this EP quite a refreshing blast.