US altrock band Grayshot live in Berlin - indieberlin reviews
Grayshot played Chesters inn on the 23rd of May in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Germany.
Supported on the night by the Rooftop Runners, the audience consisted of an intimate group of musical explorers, friends, family - wives and parents, and those lucky few in the know who were treated to a resoundingly fine show. The raw talent, passion and hard work of these three guys was crystal clear as they performed. Music explodes from Grayshot and is artfully harnessed by these two brothers and friend. Presented with an exuberance that is alluring, the Grayshot sound is sweet with bubbly lyrics that are introspective and genuine. Comprised of guitarist Aaron Ankrum (who is on crutches until the ned of the tour, after breaking his hip playing basketball), bassist Christian Ankrum and musical comrade Nathan Cousins on the drums. Stay/Go is the first full length album from Grayshot and recorded in their Northeast Minneapolis studio, released at the start of their European tour (visiting the UK, Germany and mainly Poland ) which the guys relate was an “insane time “.
The second track of Stay/Go - evidence, is a story about journeys and exploration, challenges and bewilderment, partnership and love. It is a touching song sublimely accompanied by music which has a fresh, new day feel about it. It´s the type of song you would listen to as you walked off into the sunset. An epic ballad which features a piano and the harmonizing by the trio adds colourful emotion to the soundscapes;
You're the evidence. You hold the key, you make sense of this mystery when i need proof your my defence of what I always knew. Your my evidence
I break my heart (track 9 from Stay/Go), embodies Grayshot, lyrics cause emotions to rise from melancholy to ecstasy and space enough is left for thought and reflection.
As young musicians the ankrum brothers thought they would make an album and then sign a record deal and that would be it, but many years on and many more lessons later Grayshot have recorded an album and successfully played an international tour all without the help of a label or manager.
“Its not that we are against labels, if something was to come up and it was a beneficial partnership than great, but at the moment we see no reason to pay someone else to do what we can do.”
Their music rises and falls within the gap left between pop and rock. I discussed with Grayshot about the onus placed on groups to categorise their music into often poorly defined and/or indefinite genres . They expressed murmurs of discontent towards this pre-packaging of music but stated it was just one of those things that you have to do. They label their Stay/Go on bandcamp as alternative-rock. I asked Grayshot what movie their album could be soundtrack to; they suggested surrealist scenes from the likes of “Stranger than Fiction” and at other times, the drama of life and death and the search for identity dealt with in the “Bourne identity” series.
Grayshot have got all the goods it takes, they have the skill and the passion and as they continue down this path, expect to be hearing and seeing a lot more of them. For I suspect they will endure and further develop like sweet love or a fine wine .
Review by Andrew Beard