Grails CD review [Temporary Residence]

Music Reviews
Grails CD review [Temporary Residence]
Apr 16, 2007, 03:47


GRAILS Burning Off Impurities CD

Making compelling instrumental music without sounding like a total bore, volume wanker, or Berklee College of Muzak/Dream Theatre/Mahavishnu Orchestra devotee is not easy business these days. So thus, with Portland, Oregon's Grails' lovely Burning Off Impurities CD, you get none of the aforementioned categories but instead interesting, well written, and superbly played instrumentals that pick up pretty much where Savage Republic, Red Temple Spirits, and Jedda By The Sea-era 17 Pygmies left off.  Much more Middle Eastern, Arabic, North African, and late 1960's Pink Floyd/early 1970's Hawkwind influenced than their contemporaries Cul de Sac, Grails shift from driving horse gallops of desert drones to drifting Morrocan open market observations to Tunisian night stomps of joyous exuberance. There is a bit of Americana in the form of lonely harmonica and acoustic guitar picking, as well as some Eno-esque ambience and Spanish trumpet tucked in amongst the more Eastern forms, but it only adds more authenticity to the atmosphere of the album as a whole. Definitely a soundtrack to accompany your late night Paul Bowles and John Fante readings, it is certainly reassuring to know that there are still bands making music like this. [Temporary Residence]

-Nick Blakey

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