In the late ’70s, Toronto was a DIY music destination, and recently it has been experiencing a revival that would make any Portland music-lover both deeply nostalgic and wildly jealous. The grungy noise-rock quartet Greys is very much a part of this resurgence. Their first full-length, If Anything, is precisely the lunging, chaotic, danceable punk that fans crave and have often missed since the ’90s. As such, their early releases feel heavily inspired by groups like Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu, but as they’ve continued releasing music their sound has become increasingly individual and authentic.
This is especially true of Greys’ most recent effort, Outer Heaven, which was released in late April by Carpark Records. Their second full-length and has been met with a great deal of excitement, both in the US and Canada.
Comparing Outer Heaven to their previous five releases is complex. In many ways, Outer Heaven doesn’t feel like it exists for the same audience as their past releases. It isn’t fast-paced, it isn’t nearly so rowdy, it isn’t unpolished the way listeners sometimes expect punk to be. The record appeals to punk sensibilities, while also nodding to emo, pop and shoegaze. Beyond that, the lyrical content of Outer Heaven is deep, spanning topics like mental health, the loss of innocence and love. By extension then, heartbreak creeps in and shows Greys is capable of writing deeply original music.
That dichotomy in their work between the thoughtful and the reckless makes the thought of seeing them live highly intriguing. Expect a solid mix of wild, breakneck riffs bleeding into slower, more sprawling, technical songs. In this way, it’s perfect that they’ve just embarked on a month-long tour with White Lung, also originally from Canada, who have similarly evolved their snarling punk sensibilities to incorporate elements from a variety of genres.»
– Sarah Eaton
*Greys comes to Portland’s Mississippi Studios on Aug. 12 opening for White Lung.