By Stephen Chow July 8, 2015
Straight out of Oakland, a quartet called Grumsling comes. The goal of their two new EPs is to reveal the mystery behind the character Grumsling. So after a few listens, you’re asked to tune in a little more closely for those clues. There’s a “dark secret behind the sound.” Strange because several tracks seem deceptively upbeat. Perhaps that is the lure of the Grumsling.
The project, parts, comic, narrative and music, is the brainchild of Carl Flynn, D.J. Lowe, Matt Lowe and Dominic Rodriguez. They have woven a pretty weird tapestry with Full Coverage and A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea, inviting guest artists to add to the layers.
The band are very serious about holding this line. “[The two albums] were tracked during full band sessions on the winter solstices of 2013 and 2014 respectively and each released on the following spring equinoxes in deference to Grumsling. The mixes are direct from the board, without any sort of digital manipulation.”
This is probably not the first time a band has chosen to record an album according to the seasons. But it is unusual to hear it from a young band. That kind of thing usually happened in the ‘60s or ‘70s. It certainly is a good way to build your name, though. Hopefully all will be revealed about the Grumsling soon.
Let’s look at Full Coverage first.
The EP sounds like some early Incubus with a tinge of Modest Mouse. The medium tempo record is oddly hypnotic. The production is nice. A light touch allows Full Coverage to breathe a bit.
Standout Tracks: “Whiskey,” “Gnab Gib,” and “Bailout Part 2.”
A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea feels a lot looser than Full Coverage. It feels like a jazz, classic rock album.
Standout Tracks: “Roberta Sparrow” and “Lightning.”
Carl Flynn – Guitar, vocals
D.J. Lowe – Keyboards / synthesizers, vocals
Matt Lowe – Bass guitar, vocals
Dominic Rodriguez – Drums, vocals
Grumsling recorded both of their EPs at House of Faith Recording in Oakland, CA. “Recording Guy” Bart Thurber tracked and mixed both EPs, they were both tracked in live-studio sessions to 1” tape and mixed directly from the board to DAT stereo tracks. Full Coverage was mastered by Super Genius Myles Boisen, A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea was mastered by Bill Williams.
Full Coverage Tracklisting:
Bailout Part 2
A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea Tracklisting: