Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Artist: Greycoats

Being categorized with bands like Coldplay and The Fray is not always seen as a positive thing in the indie scene, but those are the comparisons that first came to me when listening through Greycoats' fine debut album, Setting Fire to the Great Unknown. I find the band's music to be remarkably compelling and thoroughly enjoyable - and though their closest cousins (musically speaking, of course) might incite less than ecstatic responses from some, singer Jon Reine and company deserve your attention.

Combining the aforementioned influences with touches of Radiohead, U2, and Sigur Ros - Greycoats' pop sound is often nothing short of entrancing. Their grand presentation, with layers of guitars and swirling strings, serves as the perfect backdrop for Reine's enormous tenor voice, which slips effortlessly into falsetto and back again as he calls for revolution in troubled times. An excellent example is the first single, "Goodbye, Sweet Youth, Goodbye," which you can download below. The track certainly qualifies as radio-friendly, but in the best sense of the term, with solid musicianship, soaring vocals, and a larger-than-life melody lifting the song into a league far above that of the majority of mainstream alternative rock. Other highlights from the record include the beautifully sparse "Watchman, What is Left of the Night?" and the expansive "La Résistance."

Setting Fire to the Great Unknown is at times melancholy and dark, and other times hopeful and even triumphant. Through it all, the band always sound in full control of their music which causes the record to feel cohesive and consistent. Reine tackles some big issues here (war, greed, anger, redemption, etc.) with confidence and style and without ever slipping into lazy or recycled prose. It's refreshing to hear a band with such a universally appealing sound determined to make intelligent and thoughtful rock music. Greycoats may just have the beginnings of a revolution on their hands with Setting Fire to the Great Unknown.

In addition to downloading the song below, check out the band's MySpace page, which contains half the album to preview.

Goodbye, Sweet Youth, Goodbye

Lastly, make sure you take a look at their small Western tour that starts in a week or so:

04.30.09 – TBD – Omaha, NE
05.01.09 – Meadowlark – Denver, CO
05.02.09 – Atomic Cantina – Albuquerque, NM
05.03.09 – Modified Arts – Phoenix, AZ
05.04.09 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
05.05.09 – Knitting Factory – Los Angeles, CA
05.07.09 – Café Du Nord – San Francisco, CA
05.08.09 – TBD – Portland, OR
05.09.09 – High Dive – Seattle, WA


Moose Drinking Water said...

It sounds like they have more energy than a lot of other similiar bands. It sounds great when a band can combine energy with musicality and create a chilling sound that is sill fun to listen to.