When Grand Vapids emerged on the Athens music scene a mere fistful of years ago the group’s blurry tales of emotional intensity drew listeners in like hungry wolves. Then, at some indeterminate point, the wolves took over pushing and pulling in all directions by both soothsayers and false saviors. Coupled with the band’s own internal clockwork going awry, everything seemed to slowly limp to the pace of a broken heartbeat. Every new move a false start while each step seemed like forever. The band’s debut album, Guarantees, proved a perfect postcard from the time they were fresh and lean and full of nothing but beginner’s hope.
The first sessions for the Rake EP and Eat The Shadow LP took place while the band was still bursting out of its starting blocks. After dumping the results of these sessions they tried to re-record the tracks in various locations but nothing was saved. Finally, after regrouping and drilling down into clearer realms of focus, the band joined producer David Barbe (Sugar, Buzz Hungry, Mercyland) and what happened between them is what you’ve got in your ears now.
And what that is, in no uncertain terms, is the sound of rebirth. But it’s not a gentle sense of being born again into grace but a retaking of the reigns with one’s teeth full of grit; not a sense of ascendence so much as a clawing upward. This is as true for the rational, earth-bound details of its recording as it is for the emotional-sphere and depth of its songs. From the furious opening chords of “Dissolve” to the get-on-or-get off marching order of “Radiant Black”, these new collections are the sound of a band back in control.
About the album, the band comments:
A commission. An offering. A meditation on risk vs reward. A collection of songs. We recorded these songs in a cabin in the middle of a mossy Georgia summer weekend. It was a summer of failed relationships, false starts, and the feeling that the heat would never end. We recorded a lot of music that weekend but most of the songs were scrapped and this collection of songs on Rake are what was taken from that session. These songs felt good and captured the feeling around that time of how do you let go? How do you reconcile with loss? Where do you stand with the world outside of yourself?
In just three tracks the band gets to take us into a journey through the raw and haunting days of 90s Alternative music scene where The Smashing Pumpkin, Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. reign supreme.