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Greet Death – New Hell

Greet Death – New Hell

Greet Death refer to themselves as shoegaze but there’s also a heavier edge to their output. This Michigan trio certainly isn’t afraid to hop genres. There’s clearly a post- rock element to their music as we might guess from a band named after an early Explosions In The Sky track. Yet post-rock and ‘gaze are only the start. Across this, their second full length, the band meld muscular noise rock with melodic and, at times, even dreamier aspects. Put simply, they are tough to pin down. Which of course makes them very interesting indeed.

Don’t be put off by the infernal artwork and songtitles. New Hell isn’t a difficult listen. The album begins with ‘Circles Of Hell’ and you could not really wish for a more confident opening statement. The prosaic verse soon gives way to a driving, soaring chorus and the whole thing ends in shattering heaviness. Greet Death can be noisy then, but they can also be tender. ‘Do You Feel Nothing’ is as near a perfect pop song as you could imagine albeit semi-buried in reverb and effects. I’m weirdly reminded of Teenage Fanclub and/or Dinosaur Jr – groups on the cusp of shoegazing and grunge yet whose pop sensibilities were there all along. Just…. disguised. I’m sorry for the thirty year old references, kids. Perhaps it is more relevant to say that they are judicious over their volume in a similar way to the post screamo Pianos Become The Teeth. At the same time they handle dreampop like Cigarettes After Sex with afterburners.

‘Contrast’ remains a constant theme throughout the album, most obviously because the band utilise two distinct singers. Logan Gaval plays the doomed stoner while Sam Boyhtari is more arch and nasal. I absolutely love both in isolation. In combination though, they go to a whole other level. Now, I’m not trying to say that we have unearthed a new Simon & Garfunkel here. It just….works. Same for the album, tonally. Even the filthiest sludge rock is underpinned by melodic accessibility.

At the heart of New Hell there’s the glorious nine minute, alt-rock epic ‘You’re Gonna Hate What You’ve Done’. Here the band shed any and all inhibitions and shamelessly rock out. Both leads sing. There’s even a Manics-esque guitar solo. It becomes acutely clear, these boys aren’t trying to be cool in some industry, ‘tick box’ fashion. Greet Death are 200% authentic. They are 4 Real. I think this band is capable of doing something genuinely life changing in the future. That isn’t to downplay New Hell in any way whatsoever. The album concludes with another deep cut, its title track but ‘You’re Gonna Hate…’ remains the cornerstone and heartbeat of this varied and, at times, sensational record.

Bet on them? I’d sell my soul.