21 Feb 2015

The Grease Arrestor "Volume Two"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Sydney five piece The Grease Arrestor have come a long way in the twelve months since the release of their debut "What Was, Is". While the rudimentary album title may suggest that the band see "Volume Two" as a simple continuation of "What Was, Is", the truth is that this is a definite step up in quality on multiple levels.

Those who haven't heard the band may be surprised to discover that this isn't a side order of greasy rock 'n' roll, but a glorious hybrid of nineties shoegaze and sixties twelve string jangle. Clearly not intended for those purists who turn their noses up at shoegaze's recent infiltration of the psychedelic scene, "Volume Two" will be openly embraced by those who value creativity and don't need their music to fit neatly into boxes.

The sweet harmonies of the Byrds have always been a hallmark of the best shoegaze acts, providing a soothing human touch to draw the listener in. The Grease Arrestor, being the smart bunch that they are, accentuate this nicely with Elizabeth Tillman's vocals meshing wonderfully with those of the lads, creating a warm hum that I'm convinced has near medicinal qualities. And if those harmonies vocals are going to do the trick so nicely, why not go the full hog and further the Byrds worship with layers and layers of chiming guitars? Why not indeed. It's a winning combination, especially when supplemented with plenty of vintage organ, a positively Beatlesque rhythm section (listen to the bassline on "Are You In?"!) and just the right amount of what the band call 'groove-drone'. It certainly ticks all of the boxes I want ticked.

The band describes "Volume Two" as "a pastiche of different ideas and influences", but don't let that fool you into thinking this is just some sort of clever homage. While it certainly references many familiar touchstones, the combination of those elements is unique in and of itself, and the songs are just killer. "Hangover" in particular is great, with a gloriously anthemic chime that feels like it's been with me my whole life.

So now to the sales pitch - "Volume Two" is available as a free/name your price download below. All proceeds will go towards a vinyl pressing of the album, which I'd certainly like to see. So do everyone - the band, me and yourselves - a favour, and throw a few dollars their way for this top notch album, which I imagine is going to sound even more ravishing on vinyl.

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