THE BRIDESMAID ‘Grayson’ Review

The Bridesmaid is a relatively new London-based musical endeavour that draws inspiration from a wide spectrum of genres including; post-rock, shoegaze, post-metal, grunge and black metal. The original concept of the band was formed in 1981 by JJ Saddington and Liam Davis. After several years languishing in an almost forgotten file, the tracks, four in total spanning twenty minutes, were dusted off last year to be mixed and mastered and are finally ready to be unveiled.

All four tracks are instrumental but the lack of lyrics doesn’t detract in any way from their ability to be interesting, in fact it’s quite the contrary, as each is like a journey that takes your thoughts to different mind- scapes as the mood and tempo varies across their length and a good instrumental should have, as these do, an extra something in lieu of words. Also all the tracks and the EP appear to have been named after notable figures but I have been unable to finds out anything regarding the story behind the individual tracks or reasons behind these choices.

Beginning with ‘Oates’, which has a bleak, blustery quality which comes from a background monotonous riff which is simple yet effective , paralleled with a further layer of guitar work, a bleak distorted melody which coasts beautifully over the top and patches of static distortion, the whole thing very atmospheric and reflective .

Although I think all four tracks are great, ‘Ives’ is probably my favourite, I love the more complex drum patterns and it’s the closest you get to vocals with the keyboards emanating a haunting vocal “Ahhhh!” sound in the background, there’s a reflective midpoint piano drop-away and some great deeper distorted elements to add extra texture and atmosphere towards the latter part of the track.

‘Aldrin’ opens on intense waves of repeat drum work and heavy distorted riffs that have a dark hypnotic quality, this is interspersed with haunting distorted sections of melody the whole thing becoming oppressively intense and distorted before a very reflective and tranquil segment that is light and “floaty” from the mid-point, followed by the higher haunting distorted riff and more of the heavier elements.

‘Ballack’, the darkest and heaviest of the four offerings, opens on a mix of heavy riffing and drone, dropping away suddenly to slow precise drum work, building with a mix of varied keys an shrill haunting riffs, the drone and intense riffing returning in the second half with a very doom like quality.

Although the band believes that the music is the most important element of creating a commercially available sonic product they also believe the artwork plays an important part and so the cover art was created by Robert Høyem, the aesthetic shaman behind artworks for the bands including Sahg, Heksed and Kampfar. This hugely listenable, mentally visual and superbly atmospheric offering should be of interest to anyone who likes a more ambient doom/ drone edged sound, it’s hard to believe it has been left and almost forgotten for several years as it feels very fresh and current. The EP will be made available digitally via BandCamp from August 10th.

Review by Jools Green


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