Review Summary: If Old Gray continues to mature at their seemingly alarming rate, they very well could leave an indelible mark on the flourishing US emo scene.
There’s an unquestionable anomaly about New Hampshire emo trio Old Gray: they belie their years. Indeed, for an unsuspecting listener (I, admittedly, part of this segment) to stumble across Everything I Let Go & The Things I Refuse To
, you would be flabbergasted to learn that less than a mere eighteen months ago Old Gray were releasing their demo. And yet, hearing the heavy reverberated guitar melodies, sombre piano harmonies, gentle percussion and narrated introspection on lost love of ‘359 Pine
’ for the first time, there’s a good chance you’d have to look twice that a band in their infantile state could be as musically accomplished as this. The guitar bends impeccably compliment the lyricist as he etches across sentiments of reminiscence and heartbreak (‘Sifting through tarnished images of a past you were a part of, mind blanketed by memories/The ghost of your former self, someone I once held and time stood still/Time stood still, at least to us/At least to us’).
The introduction to this extended play serves as only a precipice, controlled and precise. The band push over the edge on the next track ‘Resonance
’, a much louder, unrestrained affair than its predecessor complete with a combination of harsh screams and coarse cleans, voices occasionally coupled together; and a noise-build towards the end that feels like an abridged version of something from a proficient post-rock record, reaching its crescendo as the vocalist repeatedly wails ‘I’m so tired of dying each night’ over wave after wave of distorted guitar and increasingly loud, galloping drums. ‘Winter ‘11
’, deals with feelings of isolation, disconnection and the distinct need to change. From its relentless opening shrieks of ‘Every day is the same charade/Weary ghosts frequenting their favorite haunts/We're all tired but no one ever moves’ to its unembellished spoken mid-section to its climactic collaborated yell of ‘Today I am what I never was, I am truly alone/Tomorrow I'll be what I wish I were today, I won't be afraid anymore’, the song is the most intense and scarily relatable track on the EP. Structurally, closer ‘Six Years
’ remains similar to 'Resonance
’ with its almost post-rock tendencies. Its introductory existentialist sound-clip (summary: there’s nothing
for you after death) intertwined with creeping feedback denotes a feeling of dread, and then the track erupts into life; featuring their heavy/quiet shifts in dynamics, pained squeals, self-examining lyricism and penchant for hard-hitting crescendos.
The bottom line on Everything I Let Go & The Things I Refuse To
is that if Old Gray continues to mature at their seemingly alarming rate, then it is not unimaginable to say that, in four or five years time, they very well could have left an indelible mark on the flourishing US emo scene.