Nick Grey – Les eaux territoriales

I was quite anxious to check out this promo cd by Nick Grey. I knew about this artist through the Stateart label, which recently moved out of Germany to Texas. Until now I only listened to some audio samples of Nick Grey on the Stateart website, and I liked them.
This cd is not that good though, unfortunately…

I won’t spend much words on the intro track, because it’s really short and not worth mentioning. The intro is followed by two long tracks, performed by Nick Grey and “English guitarist Nicholas Davis”. The first one is the title track and lasts for more than 13 minutes. The accompanying insert states that this release is influenced by the likes of Woven Hand, Low, etc. This indeed is obvious when one listens to the title track; a long repetitive song with scarce vocals, guitars, and some keyboards and (electronic) percussion. The whole song is build around one repetitive guitar riff, which gets annoying after a while. It’s just not a great riff, at least not good enough to repeat for 13 minutes. The loose G string tends to be too prominent and dominates the riff too much, which doesn’t really improve the melody at all. After sitting out these 13 minutes I honestly have to conclude that I understand the idea, but find the result mediocre. It’s just not that well-played, and the guitar sound could have been much better and richer.

Off to the last track with the bombastic title Deathships of all flags gather around your shores. God no, again this dominating G! Furthermore, this is more some sort of an ambient soundscape with some nice accordion melodies on the background. After 6 minutes the song suddenly changes into a quite nice layered vocal outro. A pleasant surprise!

All in all, this release just isn’t really good in my opinion. Compared to bands like Woven Hand and “postrock” like Do Make Say Think or Godspeed it’s way too mediocre. I’d recommend all readers to check out Do Make Say Think on the one hand, or get your hands on some good ambient/soundscape releases instead.

artist: Nick Grey
label: self-released
details: 3 tracks, 23 min. [NGREY01 - 2005]