Grey Area - Fanbelt Algebra (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Grey Area

Fanbelt Algebra (2001)


I bought the first Grey Area CD without hearing a single track, and completely unaware of what to expect, I knew it had some members of Warzone, but suffice to say, it definitely didn't sound like the old school hardcore of Warzone. On the other hand, it surprised me in more ways than one. Unlike the many melodic hardcore bands professing allegiance to the NOFX school of pop hardcore, Grey Area was a hardcore band who just decided to add melody. A subtle distinction, but appearently something that makes for incredible music. Take a look at Lifetime, the grandfathers of the marraige of aggressiveness and melody. Or Kid Dynamite. Or, in this case, Grey Area.

Grey Area's first album was pretty astounding. Conceptually it could have been generic. Fast drums, poppy sing-a-long vocals, and tons of speedy guitar. You'd probably expect something from the SoCal scene to sound similar, but something about Grey Area prevented it from sounding like generic third generation melodic hardcore, and more like something unique. The second album expands on this theme, maintaining the hardcore integrity and energy, but adding larger doses of the melody. The concoction is unique and is totally uplifting.

It's not unlike the feeling I got when I first heard Lifetime, and that, is a great thing. It was a band taking something as simple as guitar+bass+drums+vocals and making something that is far more than the sum of its parts. Another great record from Victory who seems to be having a stellar year. Let's hope that the next Earth Crisis is as entertaining and exciting.