Grails - Deep Politics

Album cover
Post-Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Temporary Residence Limited
Grails
Deep Politics
Grails - Deep Politics Review rating:
3.5
User rating:
Average: 5 (2 votes)

If anything can be said about Grails, is that their vision of a post-rock is bleak in the most abstained way. Doomsdayer’s Holiday with its bombastic overtones and far more metal embrace then previous records suggested, a new twist to an already unusual band in the genre of post-rock. Where could you categorize a band that shifts sounds so quickly it becomes an exercise as to what it reminds you of…A cinema scene in the dark, snippets of Rush, or how ‘bout Arabic meandering? All have been found within Grails’ discography and what becomes even more curious is the fact that Deep Politics’ direction isn’t recurring in any theme they’ve done.

What Deep Politics becomes is a seminar on how exactly to carry an album with enough abstract thought without going entirely directionless. No doubt, Grails have come from a band whose strengths relied on the mere fact they mixed instruments that you never hear in post-rock and they did it successfully. Deep Politics still walks this line, but their ambition seems to be enhanced by the production methods and excellent placement of strings, somber bass and acoustic strumming that would bode so well in a motion picture. You hear “The Natural Man” in Doomsdayer’s Holiday, but you don’t quite feel the sorrow it tries to force on you. “Deep Politics” does in a far more simplistic and traditional way with the piano. Grails have always had the darker edge towards their work, but Deep Politics enters a realm of strange. The small jabs and pinches of stylized music akin to Western films take form within “All the Colors of the Dark”. It shouldn’t make any plausible sense because when you think of post-rock, you think of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s apocalyptic chaos or Explosions in the Sky’s hopefulness. It’s Grails’ eccentricity that makes Deep Politics an album worth checking out. Eerily those two extremes aren’t anywhere near this album. Instead, Grails pushes their sound with new elements. Still, “Future Primitive” reminds us where they have come from, with a mellow, murky bass, progressive guitar elements, and even acoustic so darkly-laden you’ll be hard pressed to find anything similar.

What becomes of a band that makes a living off short, musically diverse songs that lack the overall grandiose flashes that is so ingrained within post-rock? While you may not feel the ostentatious moments as with their genre contemporaries, it is Grails’ diversity that makes them such a wildcard, and if anything Deep Politics reaffirms that you don’t need the traditional elements. “All The Colors of The Dark” brings in that Western stylized movies that were so wrought with acoustic showings, it unknowingly strikes a chord with a more modern sound that give the listener a cinematic experience from then on. A desolate impression is stamped throughout the Deep Politics, but a facet of instrumentation cannot be singled out. Followers of Grails still get the otherworldly elements posed within their past albums, specifically the instruments that gave those earthy, natural tones (like the flute) as seen in “Corridors of Power”, which seems to be the oddest sounding and most conspicuous of the all the tracks. Deep Politics does many things correctly for a band that is so diverse; they never quite over extend themselves to the point of tedium; a problem that marred them more so with their recent work then before. Perhaps Grails can build on this new influence within Deep Politics because with the minor problems it has; it can be expanded on quite easily. This westernized cinematic mood along with Grails’ unconventional use of instrumentation marks Deep Politics a political ideology you may want to be affiliated with.

1. Future Primitive
2. All The Colors of The Dark
3. Corridors of Power
4. Deep Politics
5. Daughters of Bilitis
6. Almost Grew My Hair
7. I Led Three Lives
8. Deep Snow

Grails are an American instrumental rock band from Portland, Oregon.

Initially the band 'Laurel Canyon' formed to play one show on a whim. In 2003 the band changed its name to Grails, just before the release of their first full-length album. They adopted a louder, more aggressive style, often switching instruments with each member writing songs that saw them branching out to increasingly disparate styles. They live in Portland but rarely play live in their hometown.

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