Toronto’s Greys can easily be thrown into a bathtub next to bands such as Nirvana, Fugazi, and Jawbox, but latching onto those comparisons can overshadow their progressive expressionism. Case in point: If Anything hits hard as it’s more about what it feels like to dive face-first into said bathtub. The quartet’s debut sketches noisier tendencies – gutting through everything from shoegazy imagery (“Cold Soak”) to how much post-hardcore can foam at the mouth (“Brief Lives”) – and it all bobs around their rabid pace which still leaves room for short bursts of unkempt bliss.
“Brain Dead” deploys a dual-tone indie segue before it folds into a headrush and “Pretty Grim” is a full on exhibition of Greys’ maddening aesthetic. It swirls in with emotional unrest and at the two-minute mark, a hazy riff leads into a racket of a mini drum solo and the two peel back Shehzaad Jiwani’s gift to change vocal levels in stride. It seems like more of a calculated move compared to the beating the album’s first four songs deliver, but it’s also a compliment as If Anything runs on feral sprints and level-headed protests. Both have been done before, but not at this volume.
Listen: “Adderall”, “Lull”, “Girl In Landscape”, “Guy Picciotto” || Watch: “Use Your Delusion”