New In Review! (2/12)

It’s that time of week again—-it’s another New In Review! This week, the album is What We’re Missing,  by a band called Grayscale. The Pennsylvania emo/alternative rock band formed in late 2011 and have previously released three EPs: Leaving (2013), Libra Sessions (2014), and Change (2015). This is their first full-length album and second release on Anchor Eighty Four Records. The band’s I would compare them to would be Brand New, The Starting Line, and Transit. I got into this band around the time Change came out, so I’m still a little new to the game that is Grayscale, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t eager for this new album! So here it goes:

The album starts out with “Tense,” a slow, but equally strong song that sets the mood for the album you are about to here. The song is about hoping someone will feel the same pain that they caused the storyteller. It pours out emotion to no end, no holds barred. The next song and the first single from the album, “Palette,” is a bouncy and poppy track that follows almost the same lyrical theme that “Tense” had to offer. “Midwest” is the third song in the collection, and it’s highlight is the acoustic guitar strumming that is partially hidden throughout the heavy guitars. The theme is different on this song; it could be said that the song is about wanting a relationship to work and doing anything to make it so. Definitely a favorite of mine.

“Say Something,” which is also on the Change EP, is a song about the future. One of the poppier songs on the album, it is a cry for answers about what will happen next in the main character’s life with his current flame. This track has one of the coolest breakdowns on the album with a simple, but very effective guitar “solo.” The next track is also from the previous EP: a re-worked version of  the”Change.” While there are little to no differences between the two versions of “Say Something,” “Change” is completely reborn. The original version of the song is very much more rock oriented. In contrast, the vocals are not as screamy, but the emotion is a little stronger here. The new take on here also has more instrumentation, which add more layers of color to the song (acoustic guitar, bells, tambourine, etc). I actually do not prefer one version over the other because each version sounds like a somewhat different song, which is what makes it special, especially on this new album. The next song “Catholic,” which is also the second single, is one of the heaviest songs on the album. What lack of screaming there is on the new version of “Change,” “Catholic” makes up for it, but there are also bells on this track, too. “Strange” you say? I say “Nay!”

Anyway, the last third of the album begins with “Bloom.” The riffs on this song are stuff that I wish I wrote. If there is one track on here that showcases the perfect balance of heavy but very melodic, this is the song. Seriously. It’s that good. That being said, the song “Irish Curtains,” is more than likely the darkest and emotionally haunting song on the album. The song is about suicide prevention, and it gave me goosebumps on the first listen; especially in the last chorus of the song where the music gets heavier, and the singer screams the words “Suicide won’t fix any of this, put down the knife and wash your hands.” If this song ever gets performed live, there will be tears, guaranteed. The album closer “August Love” ends the album on more of a poppy note, presenting the up-beatness (is that even a word?) that was present on songs like “Midwest.” It’s another bouncy track, and is definitely a singing highlight on the album.

If none of you have heard of Grayscale before reading this review, I say drop everything (unless it’s really that important), and listen to this album. You may have to be in the right mood or mind-frame, if anything, but it is still a solid record nonetheless.

Rating: 9/10
Standout tracks: “Midwest,” “Change,” “Catholic,” “Bloom,” “Irish Curtains”

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