Bursting through the doors with the musical essence of a best selling Broadway musical is Grawlix and their album Betwixt & Between. I was a little blinded by their potent rays of indie rock sunshine. They have this sort of big nerd factor to them that I am into. They like to go big. The group is six whole members with lots of guitars, lots of vocals, lots of layers everywhere. There are very committed to their efforts in all forms. Everyone writes, everyone is involved in the construction process of these songs. Six chefs is a lot for one kitchen, but I think for the most part they managed to pull it off.
Musically you're getting a very solid lineup of pure indie rock riffs that are crisp, tight and layered ever so carefully with fine stitching. Lots of great guitar work. They like to keep the pace peppy a lot of the time and really drive it home with riffs that fall more under traditional rock. Sometimes they'll get a little surfy, which I am totally into. For the most part the music sticks to a road more traveled which is fine. They have definitely mastered that sound. I feel like they would do very well deviating a little bit more from that path considering everyone here is so talented.
As far as what the album has to say from a vocal and lyrical standpoint, it's pretty expressive. There's a lot of raw passion put into the words. I think the lyrics are one of the strongest points of the album. So many great heartfelt images being painted here. The vocals are interesting and the group has incredible vocal talents flexing their pipes on this album. Every single vocal performance blew me away. It would not shock me to know that some if not all of these singers are classically trained. Each one truly understands their strengths.
So we've got this strong indie rock voice in the music and then there's these strong vocal performances. The way in which the vocal performances are so layered and the over all treatment makes this album sound like an indie rock musical. I'll be honest, I personally am not a musical theater fan. There was a part of me that would have loved to hear these awesome lyrics done with a more intimate approach to the vocals. One reason for this is to kind of stave off the overpowering level of theater in the songs. With the vocals always coming at me with multiple vocalists, it kind of feels like band camp. However there is PLENTY of demand for campy and fun these days and I think the market could use more of it.
I will say this, I have never heard anything quite like what Grawlix has going on here. There really have spearheaded a new sort of genre in here. If you're an indie rock fan looking for something to light a fire under your ass, I can say with confidence that Grawlix has your number.
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