This has been a very trying week as I did a focus group for extra cash that got me behind in every aspect of life, my older brother and his girlfriend of 24 years split and I just wasn’t feeling up to doing much but acting like a rebellious teen. I didn’t feel like writing was fun, nothing was fun anymore but one activity I couldn’t keep my mind off of. Then The Griswolds’ Be Impressive finally got its chance to play in my apartment for review and there it was – there was the fun.
I have to be honest; I haven’t been this delighted with a record in some time. Recently every word put down has been like a chore instead of a good time, but not with this album. I felt like Molly Ringwald going to prom with “16 Years.” There was just something very light, very ‘80s about it. Then I couldn’t help but smile and swear along to what I’m pretty sure is my favorite off the record, “Beware the Dog.” Feel free to disagree with me on that, because there are a lot of good ones to choose as your fav. I was kind of taken aback by the child cheer squad in “Be Impressive” but appreciated The Griswolds’ love for the states with “America.” Then Aussies sure love the US…All in all there isn’t much down time with this one. A couple slow songs tossed in the mix, but the majority offers itself up as your personal dance party.
In a week and time that doesn’t seem like much fun, The Griswolds came hard to bring that enjoyment with their upbeat indie ways. If I had to pick an artist to watch for 2014, I’d definitely warn you all to keep an eye on these guys. Be Impressive is out now, do check it out and have some fun.
Before we head towards the weekend and split from all responsibilities let’s talk about the split between A Day Without Love, who we’re familiar with here at GM, and Uncle/Father Oscar. One half was great musically and the other stole my little heart. So let’s just get to A Day Without Oscar because it’s Friday ya’ll.
First up, our old pals A Day Without Love. I loved the arrangement in “Lost Children.” Musically this track was on point and there are no complaints there. For it and “Broken Bridge” though I felt this sense of ‘90s alternative in the vocals that was neither here nor there. I wanted a bit more, a little more push from them. However, while I was swooning the music of “Children” I was leaning more towards the energy of “Bridge.” Now onto Uncle/Father Oscar and kudos for the name – five cool points if you know where that’s from. “Renee Renee” offered the most rock from this record but it was “Was That a Mistake?” that owned this split. It had personality and the “do wah do wah” parts were stellar.
In the end this record was one part indie, two parts rock and a little punk tossed in the mix. You think you can handle that? Then make sure to head to another tab and check out A Day Without Love and Uncle/Father Oscar’s A Day Without Oscar, out now.
Monday, oh Monday…I had something planned for you and then I was stuck recovering from a trip to Concord to see Paramore kick ass and Fall Out Boy, well, exist on a stage and sing songs I once regarded as monumental parts of my life. Now it’s Tuesday and Ash Briggs’ self-titled EP is keeping me company as I collect addresses for the 43342 birthday cards that have to be sent out this week. Her acoustic folk plays like older sister of an Allison Weiss record – even though I’m sure in reality Ash is the younger biologically.
Overall every song was wonderfully sung. There was never any strain on Ash’s voice and it came out like a perfect set at a local coffeehouse. There was never a lot of oomph going on in the songs though, hence why she’s like a mature sounding Weiss. It never got playful in the beat, they were all serious toned but each carried a different story. “Me & You” about time getting away from a pair, and my favorite “The Other Side” being about heading towards happiness on your own. The simplicity of this record is what really stood out and while you can hear it in all five tracks, you hear it best in “Hollow.”
Ash Briggs brings you a record full of human emotion packaged in a handful of songs that do a great job at having a similar sound throughout but managing to be individuals. If you like those singer songwriter types who are a bit alternative in their ways, check out Ash Briggs, out now.