Gray Young - Firmament (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Gray Young

Firmament (2009)


About half the songs on Gray Young's first LP, Firmament, have vocals, and the others remain purely instrumental, sorta-post-rock endeavors. But no matter the choice, Gray Young seems to know what they're doing.

If one had to guess, influences on this must include Appleseed Cast and Elliott. Heavy but emotive, Gray Young don't quite find much use for the typically pretty sparkles (though breezy closer "Aurora" gets a tad bit Explosions-esque) and a boatload of pedals; rather, the power-trio maneuver through their songs on more natural and cleaner paths. "Tilling the Wind" pretty much recalls a confluence of those two aforementioned bands, while there's some tasteful piano that makes up much of "First Perennial Fall." Is it wrong to say the repeated riff that opens "Across the Loft" reminds me a lot of one of the songs off Heavens' Patent Pending?

It has some absolutely fluid pacing, to boot. You barely notice the transition between the cascading six-minute title track and "(Ghostnotes)," the latter of which brings to mind the dissonant chatter of train station announcements leaking through shitty earbuds and a deliberate, ringing riff. The building, careful sorts of tension in "Precipice" make it a surefire standout. The band's vocals are usually pretty understated when actually used, but they really seem to soar nicely in "Woven."

Firmament is a pretty organic and lively release. While all 47 minutes of this debut full-length aren't 100% compelling, it definitely grabs one's attention plenty.


Tilling the Wind
Cavalcade for Sundown
Across the Loft