Independent release, 2019

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Minneapolis sibling duo of Christian and Aaron Ankrum, aka Grayshot, returns with a third album of their vivid '80s influenced synth-pop sounds, where drummer Reese King helps flesh out this very accomplished brand of alt-pop.

“Aerial” gets the album off to a vibrant and thriving start with punchy electro-pop with nods to '80s post-punk, and “Shine” follows with a glossy pop feel where strummed guitars meet a busy atmosphere. This is a band with plenty of eclectic influences. The first single, “Misinformation” brings in a strong alt-rock flavor to the upbeat affair that's primed for the dance floor, and “Mountains” recruits an orchestral backdrop before bursting into swift pop rock.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The back half of the album stays strong with the cautious and groove-filled “Anthropomorphic,” which is coloed by R&B nods, the key heavy balladry of “The Garden,” and the album highlight “Still Point Of The Turning World,” a propulsive alt-rock track in the vein of Travis, Muse, or even a more muscular Coldplay. Later track “Everything You Are” bring in falsetto vocals and a mood not unlike mid-period Radiohead, and the album exits on the shimmering, synth overload of “The Glory Of Everything.”

Surface is a record with much attention to detail. Grayshot has their own studio and was able to tweak and manipulate to their liking across this release. And although these are all new songs for us, some were actually old songs that were never finished. The band also brought in an outside mixer for the first time on a trio of songs, which brings in a fresh perspective to the arrangements.

This is certainly a listen that runs parallel to today's version of electro-pop. Grayshot also brings in grittier moments that bring to mind legends like New Order. They are further proof that the fertile music scene in Minneapolis isn't limited to just guitar rock.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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