Review: Grayscale – ‘Adornment’
Posted: by Colin
Adornment is the sophomore LP from budding Philadelphia rockers Grayscale. Their debut nine-song effort, What We’re Missing doubled an instruction manual for aspiring pop rock acts. It was well produced and attractable, but a majority of the album was overtly harmless. Luckily, Adornment displays noticeable growth in the band’s development both lyrically and musically.
Adornment has an edge that creates a confident charisma. The newfound aggression is found on the album’s strongest tracks: “Let It Rain”, “Atlantic”, “Mum”, and “Echoes”. In large part, these songs mirror the best takes on their consequent record. On “Atlantic” and “Mum”, clearer production, improved vocal delivery, and impeccable musicianship result in a feeling of tightness and friction that create the pair’s anthem-like choruses.
“Echoes” is the album’s outstanding and undisputed apex. It should’ve been the album’s lead single. Nevertheless, after ringing guitars ignite the song, it buzzes through exceptional chord progressions backed by what sounds like a xylophone, essentially creating a three-minute-long chorus.
Because Adornment is inconsistent, “Echoes” is not an accurate indication of the album’s quality across its eleven songs. Some of the album is repetitive and lacks any substantial risk or experimentation. Additionally, the two acoustic songs, which do well for the album’s sequencing, come off as disinterested. Despite that, “Echoes” is corroborative of the band’s intent to do more than just rehash a watered-down version of songs created by their predecessors and influences – an epidemic in pop rock music today.
If Grayscale’s What We’re Missing was a naïve but enthusiastic take on pop rock, then Adornment is a substantial improvement in all regards. Adornment is Grayscale’s audible proclamation to no longer write songs simply for a chorus. Instead, the band is writing fuller, more neatly structured songs with hook-laden choruses. Grayscale has an exciting and promising future, especially if this gradual transformation to becoming more complete songwriters continues as that will come with more risk, experimentation, and a distinct sound.
If you like what you hear, you can purchase the album on grayscaleband.com