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Album Reviews, Music

Album Review: Greys – “Age Hasn’t Spoiled You”

By: Kirstin Bews

 

 

 

Grey’s third album, Age Hasn’t Spoiled You, comes out on the 10th of May via Carpark records. Talking about the choice of the album name, frontman Shehzaad Jiwani expresses that Age Hasn’t Spoiled You is about rebelling against the notion that we are products of time, claiming that people cannot be defined by their era, past, or generation. Prior to this album, Greys felt that they were being constrained by self-imposed limitations on speed, volume and recording methodology. Becoming fazed by their live-to-tape recordings, Greys tried to produce something more cerebral and cinematic – which they have certainly succeeded with Age Hasn’t Spoiled You

There is something about lucky number three when it comes to albums, when a band releases their third album it’s usually a good indicator on whether they will be around for the long haul and Age Hasn’t Spoiled You certainly runs for distance. Taking influence from krautrock, industrial, hip hop, dub, psychedelia, jazz, ambient, drone and more, each song is layered with a philosophical depth that needs to be repeated. The crux of this album is the seven-minute long “Aphantasia”, with tones of all influencing genres. Steady, slightly groggy, Gallagher style vocals slide over an ever-changing melody that switches between rock rave-ups to trip-hop grooves every few bars. Greys use “Aphantasia” to ruminate on subjects such as colonialism, cultural erasure, drug use, and religion through multi-faceted verses as Jiwani sings “apologize to them because I was out of line”, but, “if I were you, would I allow me to survive or be saved”, because there is, “no holy mantra to draw you in, no light to guide you, beyond ruin”.

Greys’ lyrical style of their past two albums have been topical, however, Age Hasn’t Spoiled You wallows in more abstract lines. Jiwani states that they wanted to achieve something more impressionistic than literal, but the socio-political conversations are still there because it’s impossible not to internalize what is going on around you. Taking this gaze, Age Hasn’t Spoiled You, contemplates how surroundings impact and shape you, deciphering whether you resist or embrace becoming a product of what’s happening in your societal sphere. The goal in this method is to spark a plethora of conversations within just one song. If you listen to “Kill Appeal” and you think it’s about gentrification where “old pillows of decaying life sing fortunes to one and all”, police brutality and mass shootings with their “fake shells of pink and white”, drug dependency because “maybe I’ll see you on your knees tonight, saying nothing at all”, or the philosophical, activisms of James Baldwin who chose to speak softly instead of yell when debating his points… you’d be right because there is no wrong answer. The dystopia of “Kill Appeal” is cemented by the last lyrics, “bury corpses”, on repeat.

While the music is pulled apart in different directions on this record, the variety of sound in this record has not clouded their vision. Greys have been together for eight years, so no matter how far they spread themselves, they’ll always sound like themselves. As a society, we’re constantly shepparding ourselves into algorithms that organize people and situations into certain boxes. However, Greys recognize that people’s lives cannot always be categorised so rigidly and therefore have created Age Hasn’t Spoiled Youto speak to the chaos and unpredictability of life, representing the time that we live in right now, especially as a middle child generation without a workforce to enter and without the extensions created by social media on our lives. Jiwani sums this up perfectly by expressing that “it would be a betrayal of our age to not address these complicated situations in our music and lyrics”.

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