“Grayson” is the musical debut of the recently re-awakened blackgaze outfit The Bridesmaid, hailing from London and consisting of JJ Saddington and Liam Davis.
The songs on this record were recorded several years ago, but it was only last year that guitarist JJ Saddington dusted off the old material, deeming it ready for release. The material has now been mixed and mastered, to be bundled into an explosive debut EP consisting of four songs.
“Grayson” easily grabs the listener by the throat. Each of the four songs has its own distinct characteristics and is thereby instantly memorable.
“Aldrin” for example shows a distinct juxtaposition of mechanical violence and serene pelagic atmospheres, while “Ballack” is built on a foundation of haunting pianos and a recognisable drumming riff.
RELEASE DATE: 10 August 2015 LABEL: Self-released
The Bridesmaid portray a darkness akin to the absence of light in places like outer space, deep sea or the human psyche. Places that are often cold and devoid of hope, yet they also contain a lot of awe-inspiring beauty. “Grayson” is primarily a modern metal record in the sense that it uses a menacing chainsaw murder atmosphere, in contrast with moments of glory and beauty, but it is also – very surprisingly – a shoegazing experiment that grants the album an infinite amount of depth. Already from the first notes of “Oates” it is apparent that this record has two separate wills. The record is started off by glitchy sounds that seem to emulate the noise of a record player, but soon enough a set of eerie guitars roll right over the beats, which are driven into the background. As the song progresses the percussion develops into a wild forest of glitchy beats and claps that completely disregard the other elements in the song, while the guitars explode into a blatant post-rock worship service.
The schizophrenic nature of “Grayson” makes for an engulfing listening experience that draws as much from the dissonant sounds of metal bands like Ulcerate, as it does from the experimental compositions of avant-garde artists like Glenn Branca. The record is very involving and beguiling, which is added to by some excellent production work. The new mix and mastering have made the music stand out immensely in your headphones and over the speakers – the drums are muscular and there is a lot of space between the different layers of guitars.
“Grayson” is probably the most exciting thing to happen to blackgaze since the release of “Sunbather”, which was supposedly conceived after the recording of “Grayson”. Even after the explosion of the blackgaze scene, “Grayson” proves The Bridesmaid to be as relevant as they would have been a few years back, which means they don’t need to rely on their as of yet unsupported claim of preceding Deafheaven and other influential blackgaze bands. Despite all fame and worldly acclaim, “Grayson” is a terrific record and a worthy entrance into the world of heavy music.