REVIEW: Old Gray – “Blunt Trauma”
by Chad Jewett
With “Everything Is In Your Hands”, our first peak at Old Gray’s forthcoming Slow Burn, we found the New Hampshire screamo band compressing their roiling expressionism into a sharp two minutes. “Blunt Trauma” – apply named for the song’s bruising wallop – does that earlier single one better, clocking in at a spare 50 seconds – just enough for a Thursday-esque intro burst, a quiet/LOUD bridge, and a reprise of that intro, this time as a torrential outro. Once again the band benefits from its economy and focus: if screamo, at its Orchid/Antioch Arrow/Ampere best, is built from just the right proportions of absolute chaos and eerie, quite beauty, then Old Gray have, in both of these singles, figured out the most direct way to give us those two sounds, with the bare minimum of extraneous detail. Cam Boucher’s vocals are more committed to sheer blistering shrieks here (gone is the wry, Sorority Noise-informed crooning that dotted “Everything Is In Your Hands”), and the band’s attack is denser, heavier here, adding mass to the more nimble, angular bite of “Everything”. Yet the impression remains the same: through two new singles, Old Gray have effectively underlined their version of this sound circa 2016: quick, heavy, and direct.
Listen to “Blunt Trauma” here.