Grayscale, Babylon (Say It To My Face)
After the absolute masterclass in pop-tinged pop-punk that was Grayscale’s 2019 record Nella Vita, the bar was set high. And two years later, they look set to smash through it – the pop-punk scene was very much enthralled by the riff-heavy, addictive choruses of the likes of Painkiller Weather and In Violet, and on their recent cuts, they’ve amped up the infectiousness even further. Umbra, their new album, is due out at the end of this month, and we can’t wait.
Babylon (Say It To My Face) is the latest we’ve heard, and it takes the 1975-adjacent blueprint set out by favourites like Baby Blue and cranks it up. Fuzzy, reverberating chords jangle through the sunny instrumental with a sprawling sheen Grayscale borrow unmistakeably from the indie-pop scene and implement with style. The pop stylings are jammed up right against a chorus that’s angsty, energetic, and undeniably pop-punk, though – the verses are made for dancing, it’s true, but that chorus is absolute mosh-pit bait.
Lead single Dirty Bombs came out last month with a bang (pun very intended) was the perfect intro to Umbra too – just as catchy as Babylon but a little less bouncy, Grayscale kicked things off with an emotional, emotional punch. The guitar tone is bright, but the vocals are an impassioned three minutes of catharsis as powerful as Grayscale have ever written. Throw in a guitar solo and an ecstatic build, and you’ve got yourself some of Grayscale’s most varied and impressive tunes yet – so bring on Umbra.
Umbra is out August 27th.