Grim Rhythm – What Do You Know About Rock’n’Roll? amnplify_writer
Grim Rhythm – What Do You Know About Rock’n’Roll? (Album Review)
‘What Do You Know About Rock’n’Roll?’
(Album Review) .
When it comes to instrumental rock music, there are guidelines an artist must usually follow: the music has to be engaging, have twists and turns that take thew listener on an emotional journey and create pathways that allow one to form their own synaptic connections to the musical form.
In short, it can’t be boring or the listener just switches off.
Melburnian stoner rock trio Grim Rhythm take the rule book, douse it in kerosine, set a box of matches to it and then turn their back on the norm in utter disdain.
Having spent several years on the periphery of the Melbourne music scene, eschewing the norms of social media and instead simply doing what a hard working rock band is want to do: stick their heads down, play an absolute shitload of gigs and forge a live show that tears anyone they play with a new one.
Now the trio have emerged from the sanctuary of the City of Churches armed with their debut album ‘What Do You Know About Rock’n’Roll?’ and it’s as antagonistic an album title as much as it is a sort of mission statement as well. A six song manifesto of hairy-as-all-hell four-to-the-floor proportions that squeezes every last ounce of pure unadulterated zeal from the personnel involved and mainlines it into the auditory canals of anyone coming within half a kilometre’s earshot of it, perhaps more.
Album opener Savage is just that; a sludgy epic behemoth that’s almost the bastard offspring of something that Josh Homme and Jon Spencer might have cooked up late one night over a bourbon or fifty but with an undeniable originality to it that firmly squares a middle finger in the face of far more technically proficient instrumental artists (not naming any names..) and says “get a load of this”. Punk Pete serves as the second punch of a TKO with some twisting turning riffage that gives way to another pummelling ‘chorus’. Ushering in a more subdued tone to proceedings is Orgy At The Windsor. A six minute epic that manages to straddle the divide between Sabbath heavy and Purple atmospheric with ease and throws in some Zeppelinesque wah parts for good measure. It’s a stretch for some artists of a far more technically proficient calibre (not naming anyone at all!!) to sustain a theme like this over that length of time but Grim Rhythm not only smash it out of the park, they do it with one hand tied behind their back, probably drinking a schooner with the other. Brilliant. .
The Suspect opens the throttle wide once more with some relentless soloing, fuzz pedals on full bore, and serves to show anyone who cares to subject their ears in its direction that the band are not just some two-bit garage act, these guys can seriously PLAY.Double Denim begins life as a tension filled build up of some cracking snare/tom roll patterns before the band unleash that most scared of rock institutions – THE DRUM SOLO. A hackneyed cliche at the best of times, here the damn thing WORKS. Sort of a rhythmic homage to Bonzo’s Moby Dick, it gives the guitars a short breather before the entire band smashes back in again at breakneck speed.
Some dirty-ass bass wah heralds in the album closer Up From The Muck and it’s as good a description for the piece as any. A discordant piece that brings to mind the alt rock of Morphine combined with the dissonance of Sonic Youth at their most esoteric. Like a bad valium-fuelled daydream, the somnambulistic overtones are dashed to the ground by an wailing echo drenched solo as the song grinds to a halt amid a barrage of white noise, feedback and disturbing chords that hang in the air like the cobwebs of a demented arachnid.
This is in no way an album to be played on a quiet Sunday evening over an aged stilton and a bottle of shiraz. This is the soundtrack to a thousand dirty booze-fuelled Saturday nights followed by a hangover the size of a killer whale. As David Bowie once stated in plain letters on the rear cover of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME, and by God he could have been talking about this album.
What do you know about rock’n’roll? According to Grim Rhythm, absolutely bloody nothing.