Review: Grieving – Demonstrations

Unassuming and gracious, unsigned Cambridge-based band Grieving have had more success than they had ever anticipated. With a simple, raw love for their music, rhythm guitarist James, lead guitarist Ned, bass player Jack and percussionist Matthew exude passion along with an essence of nostalgia in their music as they draw on post-hardcore golden age ‘90s indie-rock, pop and punk.

Their new EP Demonstrations takes on no particular theme or pattern, yet experiments with these sounds and styles they love, creating a 5 track EP with an impressive array of musicality. Released on 29th July 2016, the EP includes singles ‘My Friend, the Ghost’, ‘Ownership’, ‘No Sleep’, ‘Little Armoured’ and ‘Warmest Jets’.

The debut track and previously released single, ‘My Friend, The Ghost’, begins the EP with a softer approach to the indie rock/pop genres, as the track explores the emotions from a loss of friendship.  The heavy rhythm guitar and percussion creates a typical indie rock backdrop for the vocals to take place. However, the final third shifts into a more aggressive vocal expression of emotions.

This contrast between softer warm vocals and harsher outbursts of vocal expression shows how much the band delves between softer indie-pop and hardcore rock.  The second track ‘Ownership’ really utilises this effect as we see the contrasting volume and style between verse and chorus. This effect really gives the band their own sense of identity, as their attention to harmonious musicality in the softer sections comes hand in hand with an insight into how much passion and emotion they put into every lyric.

Their attention to structural importance is evident, as musical shifts in style and sound are seen throughout the EP, yet brought together uniquely within the individual tracks. The abrupt ending after a final musical shift in ‘Little Armoured’ and the halfway shift to a more stripped back vocal section in ‘No Sleep’ shows how effectively the band uses these tonal changes and climatic progressions.

The final track ‘Warmest Jets’ concludes their new EP with a vibrant upbeat unison of the genres they combine in their music. Referring to the feeling of nostalgia in the lyrics, this song takes us back to the sounds of the ‘90s which Grieving so perfectly create in their exciting refashioning of the genres of this musical era.

Rowan Bennett


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