Grails in Montreal at Casa Del Popolo Wednesday April 27th

This is one of those bands that you could write and write about, but it would never really explain what’s going on here; one could write about their enigmatic vibe of strange mystical noises, or the fact that they formed as a band called “Laurel Canyon,” on a whim to play one live gig.

The now 3 piece (they’ve had some shifting members) consists of Alex Hall on guitar, Emil Amos on the drums and their 2nd guitarist Paul Spitz.

So how do you even describe Grails? Luckily they have this show coming up on Wednesday, so if you’re that intrigued you could go check it out for yourself. (Which I highly recommend, as you’re not going to see or hear another band that’s like Grails.)

Deep Politics is their latest titanic offering, dropping in March of this year. And pretty much everything on there is a trip and a half.

“Deep Snow,” an epic, an almost nine minute long song, has this soft almost Spanish guitar running through piano pieces but out of left field comes electric guitar mutated into something eerie and then suddenly at around 3:30 minutes in, the track goes off clashing into hard riffs.

“All the colors of the dark,” is deep black piano and what sounds like a haunted house hidden behind operatic vocals and wailing guitar and at around four minutes is one of the shorter tracks.

And then there’s “Almost grew my hair,” which is this really great electric guitar zipping all over the place on top of this acoustic jam, and then it breaks down to this tight drum groove before dashing off into manic jams that make you just shake your head and zone out hard…Oh, Grails.

Eeriness seems to be a common thread with Grails, but they appear to embrace the shadowy parts of music and blend it well into black magic and beautiful, intricate instrumental landscapes.

The band had a “Europe only” policy when touring; that kind of makes sense, as they’re music sort of sounds like Europe; crumbling castles and bleak skies, cold winds and open fields, their songs sound like that. But now they’ve taken to touring the East Coast (the band itself is actually from Portland, Oregon) which rocks if you don’t want to travel all the way over to another continent to see this band live.

So they’ll be hitting up Casa Del Popolo on Wednesday, April 25th. If you want to see or hear something that is done like nobody else, well, here you go.

By Caile Michelle


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