With a name like the Grass you’d expect this band to be a good old-fasioned country band from the Prairies somewhere. You would be wrong. The Grass is a band which dabbles with 50’s and 60’s rock sounds and are from Nova Scotia.
Rogue Waves is their fourth album and is a hell of a lot of fun. The band touches on elements of blues and country (like in “Down at the Station”) but is predominantly rock, with keyboards aplenty. Rather than just have a bunch of straightforward lyrics and background melodies the album has a lot of great musical parts that will have you bobbing your head.
“Ain’t Running Scared” is the first track and you will immediately get a sense of their musical tributes to past groups like the Beatles (and the Beatles are probably the band’s biggest influence). The song begins with a bunch of shouting and then a really sweet keyboard riff which carries out into the rest of the song.
The vocals of the songs have a distinctness that make each and every song the band’s own. Lead singer Willis Ryan has a voice that could just as easily fit into a blues/country band but they work just as well here, especially in the more frantic songs like “Casino Taxi.”
The most fun on this record is the mid-song guitar solos and “jam sessions”, particularly evident in the second half of the album. It adds a layer of unpredictability that can make the album seem as fresh the fifth time around as it did the first. Sometimes the instrumentation and vocals even meld together such as in the unbelievably amazing “Ballad of Davey Jones.”
No matter how many retro-sounding bands I listen to they all seem to bring something a little different to the table and this stays true for the Grass. Good stuff.
Top Tracks: “Ballad of Davey Jones”; “Hunter’s Moon”; “Ain’t Running Scared”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)