Will Grayson | Yet What Else After All
Family Average: 3/7
There’s nothing like some good old fashioned singing and guitar magic, right? Will Grayson tosses his hat into the songwriting ring with this new album of emotional tracks. Does his writing hit us with all the feels?
Listen along on his Bandcamp and read on to find out:
A nice thing about being the one who reads through all the user submissions is that I get a first impression on the personality of the person behind the music. Right off the bat this fellah came off as a genuinely nice person. I had a couple of chuckles here and there reading through his introduction. As a wonderful little bonus the music that he sent over was also right in my wheelhouse. Okay so let's get into this review thing. Will Grayson is a real renaissance man writing, recording, and mixing all his own music. It really does my heart good to listen to a self produced artist that is able to tell a cohesive story. Another thing I really appreciate is the intimacy that comes from the instruments he chose to put on the album (drums, vocals, guitar, electric guitar) just something about that selection, and the way it was recorded was really disarming. I would compare this act to some of my other favorite low fi bands from the 90s we’re talking Beat Happening, and Kleenex Girl Wonder. Rock on mr Will. Thank you very much for this listen.
Angst angst angst. I see you, I hear you, Will Grayson. This was like a deep dive into the old boy’s personal journal. As a trope this can often feel tired or twee, but Grayson handles it deftly. Everything felt authentic and true. The whole one-man-band thing played in his favor, augmenting the personality and intimacy of the album. And while the production felt a bit homemade and DIY at time, I think it actually buoyed the songs and made them more endearing. I did find the vocals to be a bit pitchy, but this was rectified by his impressive guitar and mix of other instruments. I was particularly into the opening of “I Wish I Were a Elephant” and “I Was Born With A Caulfield.” His style is definitely an acquired taste, but overall I think he’s got a knack for this whole music thing.
Will Grayson, here's the thing. I think he's a good writer, I enjoyed his lyrics, but I don't think he's found his groove. The songs did not compliment the lyrics and at times he was singing off key. He produced 12 tracks, but sometimes less is more. I think if he consolidated his work into six tracks and tried to refine the composition I'd have enjoyed it a bit more.
With tracks as gloomy as the album cover, Will Grayson lives up to the Gray in his name. And while I appreciated some of the lyrics, I think 12 tracks was perhaps overkill. The tunes showed potential and had the raw charm of many artists I tend to admire (Defiance Ohio, Jeffrey Lewis, Mischief Brew). I think once Will refines his songs, works on the vocals, and narrows down the dosage of sadness he serves with each album...he will be doing just fine.
He’s a good writer, lyric-wise. Generating moments like “coming up with bad band names after dark.” The first song I found nice and melancholy but once we got to “Like A Death” it kinda fell apart with the vocals. Not really masterful enough to pull off the glum lofi.
I often listen to these albums while I’m cooking or doing chores. In this particular situation, I should not have listened to this review while cleaning the bathroom because it just made the experience worse.
The vocals are incredibly flat and lackluster, their droning went from monotonous to downright grating. I can understand the indie grunge vibe they were going for but they miss the mark by far. There’s no life to it. The instrumentals were messy, and at times often sounded out of sync with each other to the point that it was just a cacophony of noise. Sometimes a song would start differently, as if it was going in a new direction, but each time it was just more of the same. There was something to the quirky lyrics, but I wasn’t able to concentrate on them too much because the vocals were distracting.
There needs to be more life in this album, because right now it sounds like every member of the band is phoning it in. Try consolidating the effort into a few songs rather than spacing it out over 12.