As I sat in the courtyard, I could hear people talking about the Disturbed concert the night before. El Paso, Texas, might be a remote border town, but it surprisingly pulls some big acts; with Slipknot playing a week before I had arrived. Listening to them talk about Disturbed cemented in my mind that people who listen to K-Mart metal are about as dark and mysterious as fairy-floss. A notification brought my attention to my phone – ‘Monsters’ was available on iTunes.
I first heard of Graves a little over a month ago, when mates of mine had seen them opening for Suicide Silence in Brisbane. I, however, had missed them, and if you want to find out why, read the article. The first exposure to the band was the ‘Fear’ music video when it appeared on the Ozgigs page. If you’ve read some of my previous articles, you’d know that music videos are my forte, and that acted out narratives are not favoured. As always, before I shoot my mouth, I’ll give you the disclaimer: This is my opinion, and opinions are like orgasms… Mine is the most important, and I don’t give a fuck if you have one.
Narrative music videos would have to be the most overdone format of all time. By all means, it works if the story has a prominent storyline (such as the Legend of Borry Parts 1&2 by Dead Kelly), however falls by the wayside when the story is unclear, or the video itself is used to explain the context of the song. It has become a trend in the last decade, primarily brought on by digital cameras, that every Tom, Dick and Harry knows how to shoot a good frame that is aesthetically pleasing, but lacks subconscious thought. As a general rule, if you have to read the lyrics, or explain the story to someone, then you’ve missed the mark. Which is how I felt about the ‘Fear’ music video.
Tip of the day: If you’re adding a narrative to a music video, get a third party to watch it muted. If they understand it, you’ve nailed it.
Having gone on that tirade, I should point out that the music coming from this band is nothing short of spectacular. It’s energetic, emotional, eccentric and enormously heavy. I put my headphones in, looking over at the crowd from the Disturbed concert, and thought to myself, “You don’t even have a fucking clue of what you’re missing out on. You can stick you’re ‘ah-wa-a-a-ah’ up your arse.”
Graves, the little band from Wollongong, belts out a sound that is completely different to what I have heard coming out of the scene, with low grinding bass lines, menacing guitars, punchy drums, complemented by a vocal range that goes from emotional screeching to brutal lows. I would say that if you are a fan of Thy Art Is Murder, Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin or Whitechapel, you’re going to love this band. Be careful though, once you press play you won’t be able to stop, and you may end up late for work, or leaving the kids at day-care. Top recommended songs: 506, Fear, Decay, Kyden, Monster and Alone.
Do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy from iTunes or JB Hi-Fi, or go and see them on their Australian tour in December. I’ll be the proverbial Old El Paso girl here: Fucking do both.