Sunday, February 3, 2008

Grails - Burning Off Impurities (Temporary Residence Ltd)

This must be one of the most interesting compositions that I've heard in a long time. Perhaps my surprise may be attributed to my lack of familiarity with instrumental psychedelic rock. Regardless of the circumstances, I find the album refreshing, intelligent, skillfully executed, and captivating. The four member band from Portland, Grails, has more than half a dozen of releases on labels such as Important, Neurot and Robotic Empire; and the experience of such musicianship is splattered across an entire album. Burning Off Impurities is a composition that perfectly blends elements of world, classic, psychedelic, and post-rock, where instruments are masterfully played and include piano, banjo, sitar, and of course, guitar. I especially like the non-intrusive percussion that guides the music through the roller-coaster of emotion. Influenced by range of artists from Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin, the band, however, tends to stay closer to the American folk sound. You have to forgive this reviewer's desire to pinpoint a genre - and so once again I must remind myself (and you as well) of what matters the most: great music. And that's precisely what Grails accomplishes on this stunning album, barring all classification aside. I am very excited about this discovery, and recommend you check them out as well. Favorite Tracks : Silk Rd, Origin-ing and Burning Off Impurities.

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