Music Submissions 8: GRYSCL / Musique Le Pop / Seth Paul Macchi / Kaninchen / Pissghetti / Everybody Looks Famous

Submission 81Submission 82Seth Paul MacchiSubmiss 84

I haven’t got around to putting one of these posts together for a month now, so apologies for that, but in that time there’s been a lot of stuff sent in, some of which I’ve written about below. If you want to send something my way then please feel free using the means on my contact page; hopefully it won’t take me as long to get around to it.

GRYSCL – Finding Comfort In Obsolescence (EP) I’ll listen to pretty much anything that gets Broken World Media’s seal of approve, because chances are I’ll approve of it likewise. That’s definitely the case with Finding Comfort In Obsolescence, the latest EP from Memphis based five-piece GRYSCL, which is out now and available through Bandcamp digitally or physically via Broken World’s Bigcartel. The EP is made up of six tracks containing sweeping, complex soundscapes composed of melodic or powerful guitars, crashing drums and aggressive, expressive vocals. Three of the five members contribute vocally, and it makes for some great back and forth opportunities between three differing styles, combining guttural shouts, painful screams and climbing cleans, as is the case on fourth track The Worker, which is a highlight. GRYSCL have a lot to offer, and they do so consistently on Finding Comfort In Obsolescence, which is as dizzying as it is dense, thick with emotion and noise. The Clock kicks things off, and the track roars along, abrasive yet composed, bouncing and brash. A lot of time and thought has clearly gone into the EP, and it pays off. Like the opener, each track is technical and accomplished whilst hitting hard. Even shortest second track The Sermon brings something despite consisting of little more than spoken word and ambience, drifting from start to finish. Following track The Fake is the EP’s best, building from dancing guitars and some solid dual vocals to a cool blend of indie rock fuzz and screamo vocals. It’s an interesting mix, but it’s one that works. The Follower is slightly more raucous from the offset but relents partway through to relaxed, stretching instrumentation which is calming, contrasting the EP’s frequent and heavier moments, one of which ends the track after it bites back. Finding Comfort In Obsolescence is up there as one of the best EP’s of 2014 so far, accomplished and effecting, blending a number of styles into an enticing and appealing package. Fans of screamo, post-hardcore and imagination will find plenty to enjoy here, and its well worth picking up, currently ‘name your price’ on Bandcamp. Stream or download it below. The band are set to embark on a three week long north-eastern tour starting July 11th, so if you dig the EP as much as I do you might want to check them out if you happen to be around. [9]
FFO: Pianos Become The Teeth, Caravels, The Saddest Landscape, Topshelf Records

 

Musique Le Pop –’ l’été (EP) Musique Le Pop are a Norwegian Indie-electro band, and the title of their latest EP translates to ‘summer’, which is pretty much spot on considering the songs featured. l’été is music meant for a sunny day, blissfully upbeat and tuneful; five shimmering pop gems of a high quality. Think Fenech Soler or Pala Friendly Fires; the ideal blend of pristine pop and euphoric electronica, a mix that Musique Le Pop consistently get right here, making every track a stand out. Opener Matteo is funky, a nod along track which keeps things fairly simple and benefits because of it. It cruises along, sounding very natural, elegant, and Musique Le Pop make crafting songs this enjoyable seem very easy. Second track In My Arms has 90’s instrumentals reminiscent of say A-ha, with a bouncing electronic backbone complemented by some shining synths and sugary sweet vocals from Elisabeth, who is excellent throughout. Her vocals are perfect for this kind of music, similar to bands like Chvrches, with third track and highlight Turn To Sand carrying a distinct and charming vibe, perking up for an exceptional chorus which makes use of some deeper vocals and exquisitely produced instrumentation. l’été is a delight in every way, blossoming and breezy in abundance, and it’s impossible not to get caught up in, exquisite. Falling In Love makes use of some very catchy bass lines, and the EP as a whole is infectious, eliciting a smile time after time, finely tuned and immaculately executed. There’s no noticeable flaws, and even the delicate, dainty closer Dream Out Loud drifts in a way which is entirely soothing, ending l’été on a fittingly mellow note after four contagious summer selections. The EP can be streamed below, and with sunny days fast approaching, if they haven’t already, l’été seems destined to soundtrack them. [9]
FFO: Chvrches, Miike Snow, Ladytron

 

Seth Paul Macchi – The Valley (EP) I’ve spoken a little on this site about a project titled A Lonely Ghost Burning, which supports smaller artists and gives them a means to be heard. Seth Paul Macchi was one of these artists, and his music definitely deserves to be heard. The second track, Bitter Root, from his newest EP The Valley featured on the latest ALGB compilation, and the four tracks that surround it are also very good, similar to American singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen’s Family EP as Machhi writes about his own life experiences, often brooding over them. Opening track City Life however, has an upbeat feel to it due to a jaunty full band dynamic and melodic chorus, whilst following track and the aforementioned Bitter Root is slightly darker as vocals echo over an acoustic guitar before layers and depth are added as a lyrical seed is planted and then grows (‘And the bitter root grows with a shocking lack of sunlight / And the broken heart knows pain feels better than forgiveness’). It’s bleak, but its effective, and the two opening songs show two contrasting sides to Macchi’s music, both of which are very well done. Each of the five songs on the EP passes the four minute mark, and there are two that surpass six minutes, Keep Normal and Overflow Everything, the latter of which does grow slightly repetitive as it goes on, stretching past seven minutes. The former closes The Valley, and it’s one of the best tracks, starting with a faster acoustic guitar and crooning backing vocals before Machhi comes in shouting almost, with the song eventually opening out, sounding much larger than a lot of the genres artists allow themselves to sound. There’s a lot going on, but the song never loses its sense of cohesion; it’s well constructed and put together, and Macchi’s prowess as a songwriter is clear. It’s not too surprising considering he’s been playing and writing music from an early age, but the majority of The Valley is a firm testament to his ability, along the lines of artists like Ben Howard in terms of ambition. There’s a rockier aspect to Macchi’s music which really suits its darker nature, matching pensive and reflective lyrics and vocals, and for the most part Macchi is searching for a light in the fog of the cover art, and The Valley takes a listener on the journey with him. The Valley is out now, and truth be told it’s one of the genre’s better EP’s from 2014 so far, and it’s one I’d recommend checking out. [8]
FFO: Ben Howard, Noah Gundersen, David Ford

 

Kaninchen – Loss (EP) I sifted through my iTunes library after listening to Loss a few times over, searching for an artist I could use as a point of reference, and the closest I got was the incredibly Sleep Patterns by Merchant Ships and the closing track on the latest La Dispute record. Spoken-word is a genre I almost always overlook and underappreciate, which is a shame, because when it’s pulled off as well as it is by English duo Kaninchen it’s more rewarding than its energetic cousins. Loss is divided into three acts and addresses three separate topics with an unerring eye to detail, well-crafted and well expressed by a pensive and thought-provoking use of spoken word prose and spacey, drifting ambience reminiscent at times of bands like Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You, although Kaninchen aren’t quite post-rock. The EP begins with Act I unsurprisingly, and the opener covers the naivety of love, told through a Peep Show narrative with glimpses of comedy and an eventual wedding which is far less disastrous. It’s a smart and well written piece of music that captures exactly what it intends to, describing the beginning of a love which looks set to last forever whilst knowing that eventually life will put a limit on it. It’s moving, but from here on things get bleaker fast whilst keeping that same sort of grace that made the opener so effecting. Act II makes use of a haunting, eerie soundscape as guitars piece alongside a narrative describing a fight and a following car crash which is brutally described, the naivety of love now a full-fledged nightmare. It makes for quite an uneasy listen, but Loss is full of harsh truths, and it ends with the acceptance of them in Act III, a song which wraps things up, dealing with the EP’s title. The narrator learns to accept a departure, and as the song ends with a eulogy is sees the EP end an inspiring note, the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Loss is highly compelling, and although it won’t be to everyone’s taste it offers something different, at least to me, and I found it a worthwhile listen, coming out of it grounded, weighed down by its content but also feeling cleaner for them. Loss is an escape, but it’s also a lesson worth learning. [8]
FFO: La Dispute, Keaton Henson, dramas on the BBC (the good ones)

 

Pissghetti – So Much For My Happy Ending (EP) The name might be, intentionally or not, a line from an Avril Lavigne song (I shouldn’t know that) but it’s also very fitting with the EP’s contents. Pissghetti play a type of nostalgic punk reminiscent of early Blink-182, with dick jokes replaced by self-doubt. It’s emo lyrically and vocally due to Vincent Castellano’s deeper delivery and honest confessional lyrics (‘I’ve had time to think and I realise that I suck’), but it’s pleasingly upbeat in its self-loathing, infectious and effecting, similar to UK band Nai Harvest with low-fi production to match. So Much For My Happy Ending is one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ records; admittedly I saw the artwork and I was expecting a Bowling For Soup type band, one of those bands Ioved when I was younger but struggle with now. Pissghetti aren’t one of those artists, and I really enjoyed their EP, which comes in at seven tracks and twelves minutes long. Expect short and sharp songs filled with relatable, sing-along lines, as is the case on second track Good Old Virginia Beach, which begins with the lines ‘Happy endings are only for pretending / Once the dust has settled I’ll be drowning in a puddle’ over suitably lacklustre, bouncing instrumentation. The brilliantly named The Earth Sucks Without You is another highlight, nostalgic in nature, with Castellano’s vocals perfectly suited as he reminisces. It’s personal, but not in claustrophobic way, and the scenarios he describes are easy to connect to without sounding like genre clichés. Surf’s Up is slightly more dynamic, matching its title, whilst I Miss Steve is particularly good as Castellano sings ‘When you think above love do you think about me, and how my hearts completely empty?’ shortly after lyrically blowing his brains out. Closer Comfortably Scum is catchy, churning along on some solid pop-punk riffs and offering some well-needed closure that sees Castellano surrender some of the blame without losing what makes the preceding songs so good. So Much For My Happy Ending is available now, and can be picked up through the bands Bandcamp page. [7]
FFO: Joyce Manor, Headroom, The Sinking Feeling

 

Everybody Looks Famous – Earth (EP) Everybody Looks Famous are a British rock-pop / pop-rock band, and Earth follows their well-received debut record Fuel To Fire, which was released last year.The EP features four tracks and fourteen minutes of crisp and catchy music; almost exactly what you’d perhaps expect it to be, and that’s its main problem. There’s not enough to the EP to really make it stand out. Plenty of bands play music similar to Everybody Looks Famous, and there’s nothing to set the band apart. The pop mentality of their music mixes well with a few heavier, rock elements, but it lacks substance, nice enough, but not possessing the flare of energy to take it further. The Watcher is a highlight, showcasing solid songwriting with a great chorus to match, but it all sounds too familiar, as does opener Echo, which makes use of some well-placed synths. Everybody Looks Famous undoubtedly know what they’re doing, and they’re very good at it, but I found the EP quite flat as a whole. Granted, if you’re a fan of bigger bands like We Are The In Crowd, an obvious comparison, then you’ll enjoy the four songs that make up Earth, and they could well be your new favourite band if you can look past lines like ‘Your eyes are my favorite eyes’, taken from upbeat third track Hiding Places. Vocalist Lex is brilliant throughout admittedly, and she really shines on closer These Days, the EP’s softest song; a sweet and sentimental piano-led track to begin which unfolds as it progresses, great when it reaches its peak. Musically there’s not a whole lot wrong with Earth, and taken that way it’s pretty good, but it doesn’t sound particularly new, and that holds it back, especially for someone like me. Earth could easily be poppier B-sides taken from All We Know If Falling, and in the last decade since that record plenty of similar artists have emerged, offering just as much, if not more than Everybody Looks Famous do. [6]
FFO: Early Paramore, We Are The In Crowd, the crowd

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One thought on “Music Submissions 8: GRYSCL / Musique Le Pop / Seth Paul Macchi / Kaninchen / Pissghetti / Everybody Looks Famous

  1. […] 3) GRYSCL – Finding Comfort In Obsolescence. Wrote a short but very positive review after GRYSCL sent this my way back in June. Noisy in a good way, and emotional in an even better way, Finding Comfort… convincingly juggles a few styles and had me hooked throughout, making it a release I’ve revisited a lot this year. (Bandcamp / Review) […]

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