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by Andrew Sacher

Greys (photo by Jesse Crowe)
Greys

Toronto noise punks Greys formed about two years ago when singer/guitarist Shehzaad Jiwani teamed up with high school pal Cam Graham (guitar) and began playing the type of abrasive guitar-based rock they grew up on. They eventually brought in drummer Braeden Craig and bassist Colin Gillespie, and turned Greys into the four-piece touring force that they are. They surfaced with the Ultra Sorta EP in 2011, followed by the Easy Listening EP in 2012, and they're about to drop their heaviest release yet, the Drift EP, on February 12 via their new home, Kind of Like Records. It was recorded by Josh Korody (of Beliefs) at Toronto studio Candle Recording (Owen Pallett, Austra, Doldrums, and more). That EP is making its premiere in this post, and you can stream it in its entirety below.

An easy comparison to make for Greys is their Toronto neighbors METZ (who're touring), but like that band, Greys have reached back to the noise rock-meets-post hardcore of early '90s bands like Drive Like Jehu, The Jesus Lizard, Unsane... the list goes on. You'll also hear elements of My War-era Black Flag sludge, Seattle scene grunge, and straight-ahead fast punk. Plus, the band are working on a full length right now and according to Shehzaad, one of the songs they're working on "sounds like early Sloan, or Guided by Voices, or Pavement."

Greys might look to the past for influence, but not without a wink in their eye. "Hey, we're late to the party," they shout on "Drag," with the sort of post-modern notion that nothing's really original anyway. And they do this while playing with the kind of urgency where nothing in the world matters for two and a half minutes except playing the hell out of their songs. The guitars are thick, the drums pound away in fury, and Shehzaad shouts with a burning passion as he delivers lines like, "We have no marching song to overthrow our leadership/We have no teenage anthem to make ourselves feel like shit," on "Drag," which itself could end up making a pretty good case for being either of those things. "Drag" is the EP's second track, and it's sandwiched between the fast-paced opener "Carjack" and the notably longer closing track, "Pill," a song about medical issues which opens with a discordant swagger and ends with the band literally sounding like they're drowning and screaming out for help.

Greys don't have a tour booked at the moment, but they're expected to head to the US and stop in Manhattan and Brooklyn this March, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, I just spoke to Shehzaad about the making of the EP, the Toronto scene that they come from, and a pretty crazy experience the band had the last time they played NYC. You can head below to read that interview and listen to a stream of the Drift EP.

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