Grass Widow

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Captured Tracks – Cape Shok

Reviewed by Andy Malcolm (http://www.collective-zine.co.uk/)

“Sometimes it might seem that a band appears out of nowhere. Grass Widow certainly became pretty hip over night, you don’t get to be on Captured Tracks without some kind of buzz. With such bands, it can be fun to dig a little into their past and Grass Widow are kind enough to link to those bands on their Myspace page, a refreshing attitude – more bands should be less ashamed of their past. And it’s actually worth spending some time investigating. Lillian Maring rattled through a couple CDs worth of smart downbeat indie pop as “Yes Please”, if you are partial to the vocals in GW, then this will delight you for sure. Hannah Lew meanwhile was in a band on Harlan Records called “the Insides” way back in 2002 or so, this is a really solid album that fits well on Harlan, it’s youthful, catchy indie rock, probably would be on Plan-It-X if it came out now, but this was 7 years ago! Well worth a look if you aren’t too hip to listen to a band on Harlan Records. And that’s as far as I have gotten so far. Raven Mahon was in Shitstorm who you can only hear on Myspace I believe. There’s a few others too but I already am dawdling. It’s worth checking out these bands, as you can sort of get an idea as to how Grass Widow arrived at their unique sound. Anyway, maybe I should review this actual band.

This four song EP follows on from the frankly stunning record on Make A Mess (my LP of the year), and opens up stand out track Tattoo. It’s replete with the wonderful harmonies that make Grass Widow such as fantastic proposition. It also serves to set the mood for this 12″. The music is far starker and chillier than the LP, things are more stripped down. Grass Widow get on with the task of just cranking out the music here. There is slightly less playful creativity and neat touches, and closer “Black Hole” feels entirely throw away sadly, going nowhere and ultimately a bit of a generic garage effort. Surprised this one ended up on here. On the whole this EP feels perhaps more like the band would come across live although I have no idea if that’s the case. “Lulu’s Lies” has a definite live flavour to it, especially in the echoing vocals. Whether you see this as positive or negative or irrelevant is going to be tough to call. I prefer the LP but there is a lot to like about the more basic approach they have on display here. Things are a lot moodier and the bass is much more prominent, making the music less instant and tougher to get a handle on. Perhaps with more listens I’ll come to like this as much as the LP, I have my doubts but this is still pretty damn good and Grass Widow are a band you should be checking out if you haven’t already.”

CD Available in the Capeshok store