Don't Take It For Granted
By Steffen Armstrong
Laptop open, favourite music site up. That's a new band, they're great. DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. There's a lot of average bands out there. To find the good ones, sometimes you've really got to search. At the same time. Set up a garage band at school, go out gigging. We're popular now, let's sign a deal. DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. There's a lot of good bands out there, and sometimes the best don't even get found. Thankfully, we've got something you can take for Granted, they're called; Granted. A young group from Brooklyn, New York. Here are 5 things you shouldn't take for granted about them...
"Our most general goal has been to create music that strikes a tasteful balance between the more experimental and intricate music that we all listen to individually, and the pop sound that is so clearly appealing to most people out there".
This is a band consisting of real, proper musicians. That's becoming increasingly rare. By proper I mean master of their instruments, shining examples of their craft. Listening to the new record Bird's Eye you can hear how intricate the smaller details are. Take the counterpoint on a song like Sarah's House. It's not an easy task to create something harmonious, intricate, exciting, polyphonic, with just a few instruments. These guys are real musicians.
"We are surprised by how little thrash there is on the album considering how much heavy music most of the band mates listens to. Henry, our drummer, is definitely a thrashing force to be reckoned with, a feral entity to say the least, but also quite advanced, and so we end up more with a dynamic of restraint and only occasional moments of thrash".
The best live bands understand what it means to rock it, thrash it out, go mental. But the very best bands understand that recreating this live scene on a record is a different skill altogether. It's not just the playing of it that counts, it's the ability to record thrash in the right way which makes the difference. Thankfully Bird's Eye is no stranger to this fine art. Things first get heavy mid-way into the record on the track Brother. The drumming is standout. The transition into the verse is sensitive and calculated. The song, is great.
"Lyrics are the most personal aspect of our music: they are largely individual efforts from either Noah or Finn. Both these front men being big appreciators of depth in the general sense, be it found in people, art, or water, it is no surprise that a lot of thought and intent goes into the crafting of lyrics. I think one of the accomplishments we are most proud of in songs is the way catchiness doesn't succumb to the pressure of banality".
Once you've got good music, you need good lyrics to match. That doesn't come easy, but then Noah or Finn don't seem to struggle in that department either. Listen to Crosswords and take the lyrics in other that lovely calming guitar riff. If it got any better it'd be in an anthology. It's not just the lyrics alone though, the delivery is where the real magic happens. It's poetry they live and breathe and that does come across in their delivery.
"I think it’s fair to say our favourite track right now is the last track, Give and Receive. Noah wrote it pretty much all on his own; that's why we call him the Think Tank, and we never played it live. it was the last song we wrote for the album, and after living with most of the other songs for the better part of a year, perhaps the last one we aren't totally sick of".
The guys are young, and it suits their approach. Playful, fun, energised. But to release a full 9 track and not go completely mad is something even the best bands struggle to do. That's why there's years between releases. Completing a long play record requires you to be able to keep the "theme" running throughout. How often do we come across a band with great promise, but who ultimately disappoint because the release is all over the place, like a compilation disc? Bird's Eye is tight, secure, and confident. The final song Give and Rescue epitomises this.
"This is really an easy question. Joel and I can loop Waking Up To Hand Grenades while riding tandem on our scooter through the streets of residential neighborhoods, waving to pedestrians, and pointing out striking facades or notable spectacles. Then we will settle down for a nice meal amounting to exactly 100 dollars including tip and, in a change of heart, Joel will soberly reflect on the life of an aging musician as we listen to BJM's gorgeous ballad Swallow Tail off of If I Love You".
Confused? Good. We asked the following question..."we're going to give you $100, a mod scooter, and Joel Gion from BJM for 1 night only. What will you do with all of these fantastic things"?