Greylag - Greylag - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Greylag - Greylag

by Warwick Stubbs Rating:7 Release Date:2014-10-13

While the acoustic folk edge is the driving force here, there is no fear of bringing in an electric guitar to add flavour and contrast, whether it be clean electric or with distortion these electric guitars never dominate but are present enough for the listener to be able to appreciate them as another layer over the acoustic base – even on songs like ‘Yours to Shake’ and ‘Arms Unknown’ when the electrics demand more investment by the bass and drums through the chorus’ to raise the dynamics to appropriate rock levels. Overall, its one of the best blends of electric and acoustic guitars that I’ve heard on an album.

Occasionally the vocal tones remind me of Supertramp (‘Arms Unknown’, ‘Black Sky’), but their inspiration comes directly from Crosby, Stills & Nash rather than anything progressive rock had to offer. Lyrically, they never stray far from interesting images supported by some pretty straight rhymes: “I wake up every morning with a pregnant head that made me spinning out and crying to be fed” (‘Kicking’); “I escape through the crack in the door/ slithered out like a snake on the floor” (‘One Foot’).

When neither the music nor lyrics go anywhere different, the songs seem to have had enough of themselves and end. Most songs pan out at around the four-minute mark, which would seem like enough, but occasionally the songs haven’t actually built themselves towards any kind of worthwhile ending and they seem to stop before you want them to, especially considering that the musical ideas themselves are really good.

The lyric, “It isn’t all bad, it isn’t all good but I wanna die trying to make it better than we could” (‘Yours to Shake’) seems to sum up this album for me. The album never really takes off, even when a blues-rock swing is introduced for ‘Mama’ - it’s enjoyable but not fantastically fun. The album does rise above the average though, and nothing is bad, in fact most of it is good. Perhaps it's just waiting for the extra ‘something’ to push it towards a more classic and individual sound: Maybe some more interesting harmonies, maybe some more interesting lyrics, maybe a rocking solo here and there. Either way, if you enjoy 70s folk or even the more recent Fleet Foxes, this could very much appeal to your senses.

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