the griswolds

Record Review: The Griswolds – Be Impressive

By Alex Jones (@Alex_Jonze)

Oh to live in Australia, the sun, the sea, the sand…the sun again. It must be a joyful existence, I mean even their rock bands are chirpy! Case in point is four piece pop rockers The Griswolds. The quartet from Sydney tackles some pretty heavy topics on their debut album “Be Impressive”, not that you’d know it from the musicianship.

Every song is bathed in a glow of pop goodness. Opener “16 Years” describes the sensation of “feeling half the man I used to be” whilst simultaneously giving you the urge to grab a pair of sunglasses and frolic in the great outdoors.

“Beware of the Dog” chronicles a failed relationship and having to deal with someone, who in the bands’ very own words is fucking crazy. However, they’ve sound-tracked these lyrics of love, loss and despair with summery guitars and a beat so flowery the Chelsea Flower Show would struggle to find a suitable plot for it.

Whilst confusing, the outcome is undoubtedly a pleasant one. The band consistently throw pop hooks out as if they’re going out of fashion. “If You Wanna Stay” bounces along like a conga line whilst title track “Be Impressive” nods to gloom metallers Faith No More in a homage so unexpected I almost fell off my chair when I first heard it.

There is a moment of (slight) reflection in the form of “Live this Nightmare”. It’s a slower, more restrained effort that sees the band try their emo hats on for size. But in comparison to, say, the miserbalism of Morrisey or the tragic musings of Joy Division, the poppy sadness of The Griswolds is a turbulent time in toy town rather than a disaster occurring in the depths of the soul.

Vocalist and guitarist Christopher Whitehall said The Griswolds are “all about melodies, big hooks, choruses you want to sing along to” and that’s exactly what they’ve delivered in the 11 tracks present on their debut.

Summer is only a few short months away, but if you can’t wait that long then this album might be the solution to all your problems. Just don’t expect it to change your life on too many levels during its run time, bar bringing up the question “can I afford to emigrate to Australia?”.

Now, where did I put that brochure?


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