Greys // Outer Heaven
Greys' sophomore album is part grunge, part shoegaze, and part nihilistic surfer prose.
The sound is thick, and faintly nostalgic. This Toronto quartet have made an enriching record that's perfect for fans of Cloud Nothings or Metz. Singer Shehzaad Jiwani goes from a youthful nasal whine in songs like "Blown Out," to the delicately reassuring tones of "Erosion." Colin Gillespie's visceral bass onslaught of "Complaint Rock" gives way to drifting oceans before being catapulted back into the static clipping outro. Similar dynamics are paralleled in "In For a Penny" and "Strange World." Greys finds balance between the chaotic white noise and dark sound sculpturing. Shadows of 1990s alternative rock permeate the band's sound, along with a rich vocabulary of underground rock. The attitude and the delivery are essential keys to Outer Heaven's success. Like the title, it exists on the fringe, far from the polished paradise of overproduced pop. For a band so dependent on noise, there's no lack of melody. You can whistle tunes like "It's All the Same to You," and the song is preserved. This album is an uncomfortable pleasure from front to back.