Gris Klein Album Review
‘Gris Klein’ is the third full-length album by the French emotive hardcore band ‘Birds in Row’. The band has been working since 2009. What comes to the releases ‘Birds in Row’ cannot be called the most productive band. In 13 years, the band has released three albums and a few EPs. But it’s another story what comes to the quality of their music.
The band has slowly and steadily grown its fan base and the previous album ‘We Already Lost the World’, in one way or another, was a big step after the debut album ‘You, Me & The Violence’. The band took a slight turn to a more emotive direction and left the most chaotic parts. ‘Gris Klein’ follows the path chosen with ‘WALtW’ but might have a little more production and versatile choices.
Honestly, I was never a big fan of ‘We Already Lost the World’. For some reason, the vocals felt a bit forced, too tight, and high-pitched at places. I still wanted to give a try to ‘Gris Klein’ and was surprised to enjoy it so much that I wanted to pick it as the album of the month.
‘Gris Klein’ starts with a somewhat hopeful yet emotive track, ‘Water Wings’ which builds brilliant and beautiful scenes in the eyes of the listener. In some ways, it reminded me a bit of these emo hardcore bands like ‘Defeater‘ and ‘Touché Amoré’.
The whole album has a great bass track, an excellent and distinctive thing in this kind of music. The bass line stands out nicely, both in how it sounds and also how it leads but leaves space for other instruments, ‘Confetti’ being one good example of this.
After the three great, but in a way basic tracks, ‘Noah’ really stands out with the length of six and half minutes. It’s nice how here and there, the French accent of English sneaks in just a little teeny tiny bit. ‘Noah’ is an incredible track with repeating lines and perfect dynamics between really heavy sounds, both instrumentally and by the vocalist.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that the members of the band have always been referred to with only single letters and the faces have always been cropped out from the pictures and videos. The band has commented, “It’s not about some individuals, but songs, ideas, points of view that our three lives have in common. So, as we’ve been asked for promo pics for several reasons, we decided to crop them, so all you can see is a band.”
‘Noah’ is built well together with ‘Cathedrals’, which continues where ‘Noah’ left. After the steady growth of ‘Noah/Cathedrals,’ the album takes a sharp turn toward a short chaotic burst leading into one of the most straightforward and melodic parts of the album. ‘Nympheas’ could be made by any melodic punk band such as ‘Rise Against’.
For a while, the album continues with the melodic style sounding something that a teenager could listen on the backseat of the family’s car.
First, the beginning of ‘Trompe L’oeil’ was the only thing I did not find out being so interesting but multiple repeats changed my mind. It is actually pretty refreshing between all screaming and twisting. This track has some of the craziest guitars with a cool tempo that continues in the background for almost the whole song.
‘Rodin’ continues with nice and exciting guitar effects with some shoegaze vibes.
The way the band combines chaotic hardcore, screamo and post-hardcore to shoegazing and even distant post-metal feelings makes a perfect combination. The album keeps the listener interested from the beginning until the end. If you love any of the genres mentioned earlier, you should definitely check out ‘Gris Klein’.
But one last question to the band members, what does ‘Steve-O’ do on their cover? Once said and you can never unsee it.
Birds in Row – Gris Klein
Released, October 14th, 2022
Album of the Month by Cuberat