A horrible hack

Old Gray

An Autobiography

Year Released: 2013
Format: LP
Label: Dog Knights - Broken World Media
 
Reviewed by James Williams on Jul 10, 2013
Old Gray is a three-piece screamo band from New Hampshire, USA. An Autobiography is their latest record. Itís been pressed by Broken World Media in the US and by Dog Knights Productions in the UK, whose releases keep getting better and better this year. When opener Wolves starts gently, all the members of Old Gray start singing in unison. Their music is very melodic, with less of a focus on crushing, hardcore inspired instrumentation. There are screams in it though, but theyíre not overused. Itís a brooding opener. They keep that atmosphere going through Coventry, but they inject more emotion into the song in the form of their screams. The recording also gives the vocals a live edge. The instrumentation doesnít battle with them either, but stays clear, albeit underneath the vocals. While Old Gray does lean towards lengthier songs, they can still produce shorter, sharper pieces in the form of The Artist, Show Me How You Self Destruct and The Graduate. The guitar especially is faster and these songs really highlight the bandís skill as musicians. The spoken word during Show Me How You Self Destruct may make it seem like an interlude, but itís so far from that and actually seems very poignant. The Graduate seems one of the dissonant songs on An Autobiography. The drums are at their most powerful, as are the guitars. Itís pretty furious actually. They go back to their more measured approach with Emilyís First Communion, with its haunting vocals melodies and slower pace. The strings and female vocals give it an extra twist as well. The interchange between male/female vocals here conjure up images of emotional torment, which intentional or not, fit with the music. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as ďdrift-rockĒ and the closest they get to that sound is during penultimate song Ė I Still Think About Who I Was Last Summer. The term seems to describe the meandering pace of the song and itís instrumentation during the opening verse, before it collapses into something more all encompassing and emotive. The fact that Old Grayís sound gets grander toward the end of An Autobiography shows that the band like to take their listeners on a journey, one of soul searching and discovery. Itís one final chance for you to really appreciate their take on screamo and it brings together all the elements of their songwriting. The gentle drums, melodic guitars and the strings help to build a calm atmosphere. Itís a very accomplished end to the record. An Autobiography is a joy to listen to and this record should bring them new fans for sure.


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