The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday May 28th


Music short: Gray Young 'Bonfire'

Highly reminiscent of post-rock groups Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Gray Young’s latest release Bonfire is a grungy, ethereal mix of instrumentals and sparse vocals.

While not adding anything particularly new to the genre, the album is pleasing and picks up steam in the final tracks.

The fast-paced opener “Canopy Reflected” echoes early Bloc Party with its loud guitars and whispery singing. The next track, “Firekit,” is a catchy instrumental that’s highly representative of the band as a whole: not too loud and rarely accompanied by a singer.

The middle section of Bonfire, from “Strange Comfort” to “Hidden Leaves,” drags heavily. The songs blur together and all sound roughly the same. “Reincarnation Breeze” is able to slightly set itself apart with a cleaner style, but, for the most part, this segment slows down any momentum the album had.

The last three songs are all highlights. “Smoke Signals” is fantastic despite its short running time. It will definitely leave you wanting more. Implementing strings that take an otherwise normal song to great heights, “Dead Air” also stands out. It is easily the best song here, and Gray Young should go in this direction more often.

Closing track “Wanderlust Opposite Bonfire” is catchy and finishes everything on a high note.The band isn’t ablaze with innovative ideas, but there are some solid instrumentals to be found. Gray Young succeeds when it focuses on the atmosphere of its songs but falters in its repetitive nature.

Dive Verdict: ?????

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