CDÂ ReviewÂ â€“ Greycoats â€“ Setting Fire to the Great Unknown
by Ben Macnair
The new release from the Minnesota band Greycoats contains the type of music that seems to be especially written for one of those glossy American teen shows where rich kids complain, the geeks are eventually accepted by the In-crowd because of their character, and every episode ends with a Jerry Springer style monologue where one of the actors tells the audience to try to be better people, because, you know, it is the right thing to do.
That is not to say that it is a bad album, but maybe television producers have used this type of polite, melodically appealing music too much. There is a lot to admire about this album, from the opening â€˜Learning to Remainâ€™ and later track â€˜La Resistanceâ€™ with their Coldplay/U2 dynamic. Or the more experimental â€˜An Echo in the Darkâ€™ with its stirring string work, and slower tempo, or the heavy playing on â€˜That Great and Terrible dayâ€™ with its low pitched vocal, and choppy guitar part. â€˜Watchmen, what is left of the nightâ€™ is a piano led ballad, with a haunting vocal part, and restrained playing from the band. The ambiguous keyboard and piano that opens â€˜Spiritualâ€™ is a perfectly realised atmospheric piece.
The melodramatic sound suits many of the songs, with focused playing from all four of the band members, who play to support the song, rather than using each song as a chance for a solo, which is often the case for many lesser bands. The singing by guitarist Jon Reine and keyboard player Titus Decker is particularly pleasing, and at times sounds like the vocal work on later Pink Floyd, particularly during â€˜Spiritualâ€™ which features an athemic guitar solo, which never outstays it welcome, proving that this is one band that sticks faithfully to the adage that less is more.
7 out of 10