Grails — Take Refuge in Clean Living
(Important Records imprec190, 2008, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2009-07-01Grails are a band from Portland who have been recording and releasing music since 2003 and Take Refuge in Clean Living is their sixth release. The CD opens with “Stoned at the Taj Again,” a nod to Syd Barrett and Piper at the Gates of Dawn with its pseudo-Morse Code beeps. Then over the course of the five tracks the music develops into mind-numbing bass and drums overlaid by guitars. There are many shifts and turns in the music, from quiet electronics to massive percussive attacks! Along the way we encounter Manuel Göttsching-like sequenced guitar riffs and Ravi Shankar-like sitar jamming. The band is Emil Amos (synths, keyboards, guitars, tapes, vibes, vocals), Alex John Hall (guitars, samples), William Slater (bass, organ, harpsichord, harmonium, guitar, vocals), Zak Riles (guitars, feedback washes), and Ben Nugent (drums). Other reviewers have compared Grails to Hawkwind, Ennio Morricone, and Eno, which is quite a broad spectrum, though I don’t see the resemblance. In my opinion, these guys have studied at the master’s feet and created some amazing music that transcends Hawkwind, Eno, et. al. It is also wonderful to know that Space Rock is alive and well in the US after surviving so long in Europe. This spring Grails is on tour throughout Europe and sure to attract many more fans.
Related artist(s): Grails
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more