Near Grey Near Grey

Montreal-based Near Grey play a fusion of sludge metal and post-rock, taking the dynamic structure of post-rock and applying it to the dark, swirling distortion of traditional sludge. However, the structures of all three songs on their self-titled EP need to be more thoroughly examined and thought-out. Just as they're starting to sink into the sludgy groove of their songs, they suddenly change pace in a way that doesn't fit, as if they're trying to ram a square peg into a round hole. Also, Near Grey have difficulty finding that post-rock "sweet spot," with the dynamic and tempo changes either being too drastic without enough build before the climax or taking too long to move on, thus missing their window for the crashing walls of noise to have their greatest impact. Although they utilize some interesting instrumentation, at points, such as organ towards the end of "Twin Yellow Suns," Near Grey miss several opportunities throughout to create something bombastic, aggressive and emotional. Instead, they simply bring back a riff they played closer to the beginning of a song without much rhythmic or dynamic variation, aside from maybe packing on a little bit more distortion or delay. The record feels a bit fragmented and inconsistent when it should sound composed and thought-out, one continuous piece of music. (Independent)