I noticed that his band was popping up on many people’s best of lists. I own a couple of Grails records and although I’m hearing that their latest, Doomsdayers Holiday, may be the best thing they’ve done I have yet to buy it. I freakishly found their first record for Important in a bargain bin just after Christmas and decided to post on it first. As an aside I’ve been going to that record store once a week for a couple of years and I’d never seen this on their shelves. Fuck knows where they filed it but I have to admit I was pretty stoked when I found it.
I like Grails but when I first started buying their records (having never heard them and relying on reputation only) I wasn’t expecting the sound they actually produced. If you look at the cover and title of this one you may be mistaken in believing some doom laden heavy psych will be coming out of the speakers. And although the odd track does have those elements, for the most part you’d be wrong. Grails specialise in a sound that’s equal parts Sun City Girls, Earth circa Hex, 70’s drug hazed psychedilia and your favourite post rock band (insert name here). I’m note sure if the image of their records really matches up to the strange yet very accessible music they play. Black Tar Prophecies has some darker tracks but especially towards the end the tracks have a decided post rock feel although they are obviously 100 miles away from the quiet-LOUD-quiet dynamics of Mogwai. This record is the first they released after they left Neurot Records and is actually a compilation of three EP’s. Seven of the tracks were released on small pressing vinyl EP’s in Europe, two tracks are exclusive to this compilation. You’d never know this is a compilation and quite frankly this record is as good as any place to start. If you haven’t heard Grails before they may end up being your new favourite band!
Black Tar Frequencies