For whatever reason, a lot of people have started giving up on rock n’ roll in the past couple of years, and not just because of the lull in concerts caused by a global pandemic in 2020. The heart and soul of the rock genre have always come from the players who didn’t care about the commercial model, nor those who would perpetuate its ideals, and from where I sit, Greye are one of the only crews still rejecting the mainstream narrative without sounding amateurish in their output. Their new album So Far So Good is a testament to rebelliousness, but more pressingly, an answer to an increase in mundanity across the pop spectrum lately.
There’s a lot of fight in tracks like “End of the Line,” “Shoulda Coulda Woulda,” and lead single “Lucky,” but it’s balanced out by the self-control Greye show off rather flawlessly in every song included on the LP. They’ve got such a simpatico relationship here, and even if I hadn’t known how long they’ve been playing together, my gut tells me I still would have noticed the fluidity with which they approach the structure of any composition on So Far So Good.
The guitars are inarguably the star of the show in “Burn,” “Come and Get Me,” and the title track in the album, but I wouldn’t discount the contribution of the vocal element in any of these tracks. Contrarily, this singer is probably one of the only players who could stand up to the riffage in So Far So Good without sounding overpowered by the other components in the instrumentation, which is a hallmark of their unique sound for sure. No one else but these musicians could make Greye the act it is, and that’s undeniable when listening to any of the ten songs they’re introducing to us here.
Producers want us to feel the quake of the amps in “Growing Pains,” “Over My Head,” “I Don’t Mind,” and the grunge/southern rock hybrid “End of the Line,” but they don’t have to bring a lot of sonic excess into the fold to make this happen. It’s difficult to give us the earth-shaking intensity of a live rock show without allowing for some protruding physicality to muddy the master mix, but one way or another, So Far So Good preserves the violence of unfiltered hard rock without devolving into a negative realm shaped purely by overindulgence. I hadn’t been listening to this band for a while now, but a record like this one should be more than enough to get a lot of jaded rock fans excited about what the genre might produce in this next chapter of its collective history.
Greye deliver unforgettable chills that exist independently from those their classic rock influences would have inspired, and for all that they have in common with the iconic riff-makers of yesteryear, there isn’t anything about the vitality of their sound and style in this record I would deem ‘retro’ in nature. Despite the name, So Far So Good looks forward a lot more often than it looks back.