With a name like Grief Tourist you have probably pictured a heavy handed, no nonsense hardcore band. You’d be right. This trio released one of the most un-nerving EP’s of 2016 and are as D.I.Y as they come; the debut was recorded on Garageband and a dictaphone.
This recording process is a departure from Pulled Apart by Horses and Architects, whom two of the three members were once integral to. Gone are the laborious planning and recording process, replaced instead by snarls and crushing riffs; this band have gone back to basics.
As Grief Tourist enter your ears there is a feeling of nostalgia amongst the short sharp shocks they call songs. There are throwbacks to eighties hardcore, with a focus on Minor Threat and Dischord Records‘ iconic take on aggressive emotion, as well as modern influences like the Converge-like sense of dread and the expansiveness of post hardcore. This ‘looking back to look forward’ attitude combines with the DIY ethos to create music which just feels important.
Their self titled 6 track debut clocks in at just over 10 mins, within this time there is a lot of emotive content fired out at an exhausting pace. Lyrically there is a big dose of reality to everything that is snarled over the crashing musicianship. Within these short snarls are poignant reflections on life, ranging between personal and world views.
There are no punches pulled, and with their debut EP is the blueprint, you can expect future recordings to flow at an incredible pace. In most cases there is no place for intros and outros instead each and every track starts at full speed and ends abruptly; creating the feeling of flying over the handlebars of a crashing bicycle into the next furious burst. This intensity is what makes Grief Tourist stand out from the crowd; their style of hardcore is clever, brash and considered. It is within these elements that they find individuality in simplicity.
Maybe it’s being brave enough to keep things simple that makes this project so exciting; experience and maturity have clearly given these three the confidence to let their music speak for itself.