Murky Psych Rock
Self-Released – January 15th, 2016
I got to see Teal Grapefruit play live for the first time on Friday night, having previously only heard their music online or over the air from WRFL from time to time. Their sound was heavy, but not in the way that one would describe ‘heavy’ metal or ‘heavy’ rock – it was as if their songs were grinding along with boiling intensity, exerting a massive, weighty force on the crowd. Heart of Being channels all this energy, but with the advantage of the clarity and nuance that comes with a carefully-made recording. Featuring former members of Cross and Warmer Milks, R. Clint Colburn (vocals) and Ma Turner (guitar), the four songs here have sounds that come somewhere between both the former groups while managing still to add things new. Immediately unmistakable is Colburn’s voice, affected with echo, reverb, and panned thoughtfully to either ear as he snakes through the four songs. Ma Turner interjects between verses with guitar parts that range from beautiful to disgusting, from impeccably tight to frustratingly free from the songs’ grooves. Holding things together rhythmically are bassist Philip Farmer and drummer Jim Marlowe, who not only maintain an impressively steady backbone to the songs, but help propel tracks through their most intense moments. Each of the four songs are great – the title track is one I could have mistaken for a Jovontaes song before I heard Colburn’s voice come in; “Faces” is washed out, echoey, and has some of my favorite guitar work and textures; “Clean / Clear” is a song in two parts – the first a sparse, arhythmic setting for Colburn’s murky lyrics, the second is funk-flavored with grinding guitars that ends the EP really well. Heart of Being is only four tracks long, but comes in at nearly half an hour in length, truly covering a lot of ground and sounds over its course – it’s a must-listen, and one of my favorite releases from a Kentucky group from the last several months.
Tracks I Liked: Hanging Chassis!, Heart of Being!!!, Faces!!, Clean / Clear!!
Ben Southworth – February 1st, 2016 – Kenwick Place