Music Review – Westing

Album: Westing

Artist: The Grayces

Released on October 14th, Westing is The Grayces second full-length album. The Nashville-based grunge psych-rock trio is best known for their powerful vocals, pounding drums, and throbbing bass lines. Compared to bands like Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and Queens of the Stone Age, The Grayces have captured the darker side of rock and tamed the sound to create music that reminds me of both garage band rock and refined concert rock.

Since the band’s inception, The Grayces have worked extremely hard at getting their music out there. The band released a self-titled vinyl in 2010, the single “Just Another Thing” in the Spring of 2011, and their first full-length album, Social Shock, later that same year. On top of producing albums, The Grayces have also been touring throughout the United States, and has won several awards over the years, including an award from the Canadian International Film Festival in 2012.

With Iz Stone singing the lead vocals and playing the guitar, Patrick Ward playing the bass and providing additional vocals, and Chase Cantrell on drums, The Grayces have created a sound that can only be described as formidable. Their music teeters on the line that separates rock and metal, with the occasional leaning towards either side. With the additional influences of grunge and punk, each song is different, and within each song, the style changes constantly.

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this album. If you are someone that is a fan of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, and other rock bands, then be sure to check out this album. However, if you typically aren’t a fan of heavier rock then this album may not be for you. Westing is one of those albums that you either like or dislike. I find, with this type of music, there is rarely any grey area when it comes to musical tastes. But as a fan of rock, heavy rock, and metal, this album was a welcome reprieve from the pop music of today.

I could go on for days describing what I loved about each song, but don’t worry I won’t. I do have a few songs that I like more than the others. My favourite songs on this album are “Posthumous Fame”, and “Walls of the Dead”.

“Posthumous Fame” is dominated by the guitar and drums with sultry female vocals. What I liked most about this song was the guitar, which transcends mere playing and moves to a level of mastery that most musicians strive toward. At one point in the song, the singing and guitar sounds almost meld together to create an energy that jolts the senses better than any cup of coffee.

Meanwhile, “Walls of the Dead” has more of a heavy rock sound, but occasionally shifts into a metal inspired sound. The combination of male and female vocals creates a dynamic in the song that shifts from a perfect fusion of the two voices to the aggressive singing in the chorus. In fact, it is the singing in this song that make it one of my favourites on this album. The way the singing shifts from a perfect harmony to the burst of aggression describes the emotions that we all carry within ourselves, where at times we can carry on in perfect harmony with others, but sometimes those emotions burst forth in an uncontrolled eruption.

Each song on this album has something to offer. Whether it is the bass lines, dark lyrics, sultry singing, or masterful guitar playing, if you are a fan of rock music, be sure to check out this album.