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"Local Discs (Review)"

The Grails (Independent)

Starting with the positives, The Grails have a truly shit-hot gui­tarist in Velibor Gajic. On this seven-song EP, the axeman incor­porates elements of, among other things, acid-dosed psychedelia, groove-driven alternative rock, and outer-limits mood metal. Pro­viding him with a solid founda­tion from which to work his six-string magic are bassist Diego Brambilla and drummer Martin Tessler. Thanks to the efforts of all three musicians, "Holding Out" and "Hypercritical" find the right mix of urgency and atmosphere. The release's best song, "Butter­scotch", unleashes the kind of gui­tar pyrotechnics that make you want to hit the highway with the stereo cranked well into the red.

The Grails would be ready for world domination if only someone would teach singer Scot­land Hurst the value of restraint. The frontman's weirdly operatic, Mike Patton-esque whine gets grating quickly, making one wish that the band had brought in an outsider for some much-needed guidance. As a singer, Hurst (who produced The Grails), obviously has character and, even more promising, plenty of raw talent. But, Bjork fans aside, no one likes a singer who can't wait to show off. Once the frontman learns that, his Grails might actually be worth going on a quest to find. • Mike Usinger
- The Georgia Straight

"CD Reviews"

The Grails- 7 song EP

Just recently I started hearing the name of a new band in town, how new they actually are is besides the point as they are new to me. The Grails have popped up and are pressing hard to make their presence known here in the Vancouver scene by playing live shows, participating in local message boards and releasing a 7 song EP simply titled “The Grails”.

Now first off I have to say that these guys can play, they have the chops that are needed to pull off great rock and roll. Great rhythm section consisting of Diego Brambilla on Bass and Martin Tessler on drums, and some great crunchy guitar playing by Velibor Gajic. What I am missing is some of the energy that seems to have been lost in the production on this EP. The bed tracks seem a little muddy, a little lack luster compared to some stuff that I’ve been hearing lately.

The songs overall are well written and arranged, although there are a couple that don’t do it for me but obviously that’s just personal preference. Scotland Hurst’s vocals somehow remind me of a young John Osbourne, with a bit of Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan thrown in. Unique in this age of the dying “modern rock” and the low mid range “yeah” vocalists.

The songs on this EP do reflect some 70’s influences, especially in the melodies,“Hypercritical” reminds me of a modern day spin-off of Jethro Tull’s “Aqua Lung” and the EP's overall feel has a lot of what was great about 70’s arena rock like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc.

Overall a pretty solid effort for the first I’ve heard. I’d really like to hear these guys under the production fingers of say a Rick Rubin or Andy Wallace. If they keep up all the hard work that they’ve been doing that just may be a possibility.

Added: April 6th 2004
Reviewer: Wayne Stadler



Singles: "Butterscotch", "Holding Out", "Goodbye" and "Hypercritical" - all contained on the 7-song debut EP (The Grails) self-released in Feb/2004.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Grails are an independent, alt-rock band hailing from the shores of Vancouver, Canada. Formed and fronted by local singer-songwriter Scotland Hurst since April, 2003 – the band has since been rapidly establishing a local reputation for delivering tight, dynamic, accessible songs through incendiary, off-the-cuff live performances at venues such as The Media Club, The Roxy Cabaret, The Pic, Purple Onion & The Showroom. Having cultivated a general disregard for the seemingly hyper-cyclic & vapid whims of flash-in-the-pan trends in the music industry, this band is bent on treading their own path while evolving within their own particular sound.

Stylistically, The Grails are only concerned with creating memorable melody, harmony and emotionally-charged movement within an organic guitar-driven sound - generally inspired by the catalogue of truly great bands from yesteryear as well as various respected contemporaries. The sound has been described as “an urgent and visceral, focused and deliberate mixture of both the raw & the pop...gnashing, fuzzed & rough-hewn enough for the indie-rock listener, and yet hook-laden and polished enough to respect the dynamics & pedigree of great pop music structure”. The debut EP containing 7-songs has been self-released to primarily distribute at live shows, has received positive on-air support from the Indie Night In Canada segment of Vancouver’s CFOX radio (99.3FM) and has garnered press in The Georgia Straight Weekly.