Grey Daze
Amends


2.3
average

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
June 26th, 2020 | 28 replies


Release Date: 06/26/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amends was made with good intentions, but misses the point entirely.

Posthumous releases tend to reside on unstable foundations. It is inherent with these types of projects due to it all being defined on context and how much quality material the handler has to work with. Demand is the biggest problem; on the one hand people just want to enjoy more music from their favourite deceased artists, but in that demand you’ve got to look at the reality behind the situation: the ramifications it could have on the artist’s legacy, and more importantly, where that material is coming from. For instance, George Michael was very stringent on what he released, and he alone determined what was deemed worthy for public consumption – his given right to preserve the image he wanted to be perceived. Which brings up the moral point of, should the beneficiary of an artist’s archives go against their wishes – by releasing something they probably never wanted to have seen the light of day – just to accommodate the public and/or label demand? It’s food for thought that has me analysing such releases, and ultimately, it’s quite rare that the archived material ever amounts to anything next to the work they did when they were alive.

In the case of Amends, thankfully, you can tell it was made with love. No, the detriments here aren’t shackled to soulless, money-grubbing desires, but of unorthodox writing restrictions. For those unaware, Grey Daze was the band Chester started out in before he joined Linkin Park. In 2017, just before his tragic suicide, Chester was about to rekindle Grey Daze’s flame with rehearsals, and the desire to bring the band back into the game. After his untimely death though, the rest of the band wanted to pay tribute to Chester by releasing an album that he would have been proud of, using a load of archived vocal material as a means to make it a reality. As the band states in their mini-documentary to promote Amends, the writing process was centred entirely around Chester’s vocal work – this is definitely the smoking gun on why Amends sounds so intrinsically off. It is not that the LP is particularly bad, but it’s a certifiable reason on why I felt complete ambivalence towards everything it had to show me. The main caveat is that Chester’s vocals and melodies just aren’t up to snuff here; they perpetuate an unflinching feeling of rough demo ideas, or things that just weren’t good enough to see the light of day twenty-some years ago.

This in turn has affected the music built around the vocals – a consistent barrage of indifferent and soporific late-nineties rock jingles that scarcely contain their own identity and weight. The wispy production on the likes of “Sickness” and “What’s in the Eye” lacks crucial staying power, both instrumentally and vocally, and it’s hard to fully comprehend the direction the band wanted to go in with their sound. Superficially it aims at being an alt-rock record, but generally it lacks the hallmarks to successfully hit that goal. Everything sounds fragile; a delicate gossamer that could be ripped apart by a brick if it were thrown at these compositions. The sonic approach, coupled with the iffy vocal takes, just doesn’t meld well at all, but when you couple that with a production that sounds completely barren and one-dimensional, it fails to capture a solid vibe for long.

It comes with a heavy heart to be so hard on Grey Daze, especially when there are earnest intentions behind it all, but unfortunately the material they had to work with just wasn’t strong enough to bring any memorability to the table. When you couple that with the bland alt-rock instrumentals and the peppering of electronics, as well as the pretty bad production, it just makes the situation that much more forgettable. Ironically, in the band’s attempts at highlighting just how great of an artist Chester Bennington was, Amends becomes the antithesis of that and fails to display any of his amazing prowess. The most perplexing thing about all of this is these recordings were pulled from a time where he should have been brimming with angsty fire – his voice at its most nimble and raw – but Amends lacks all of those qualities and just sounds like a bunch of dry and tired performances. Odd moments of intrigue pop up from time to time. “She Shines” displays fleeting snippets of raw emotion over chunky guitars, while “In Time”’s surging, punchy, melodious hooks bring some recognition of greatness to the forefront, but overall, the majority of the album seems pretty content with functioning on passive, prosaic ideas with little staying power.

FORMAT//EDITIONS:
CD//DIGITAL//VINYL//VARIOUS BUNDLES

PACKAGING:
N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES:
N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE:
https://greydazemusic.com/




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user ratings (26)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
SteakByrnes
June 26th 2020


19444 Comments


Nice review Simon, I remember checking one of the singles off this and not being too impressed. Still pretty cool that they got this out there, hearing Chester's voice again was great

Digging: Kaonashi - Why Did You Do It?

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

thanks man.



yeah, i dunno, i find it really jarring that he sounds like chester from the latter day LP records. since these vocal recordings were taken from before HT, one would expect his performances to have been incredibly raw here.

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 26th 2020


34910 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought this was pretty great. Nothing spectacular but his voice sounds great here and the songs are less cringey than most latter day Linkin Park lol.

Digging: Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways

tyman128
June 26th 2020


2048 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There are definitely some fun moments here, but I just kinda found this thing to drag a bit... I don't know maybe it'll grow on me

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I must definitely be in the minority here like, the critical reception has been nothing sort of bewilderingly hyperbolic to me lol

RaylanCrowder
June 26th 2020


117 Comments


Couldn't get into this album either, with the marketing it felt like they were really going hard with profiting off of Chester's tragedy. The songs fall flat, lacking the urgency and authenticity of something like Mike shinoda's post traumatic

"Nothing spectacular but his voice sounds great here and the songs are less cringey than most latter day Linkin Park lol."

Meteora is cringier than anything on A Thousand Suns or The Hunting Party

TVC15
June 26th 2020


10536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was wondering about this album since I had no idea what the context behind it was, thx for the review

Digging: Sematary - Rainbow Bridge

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

“Meteora is cringier than anything on A Thousand Suns or The Hunting Party”



I got indigestion from reading that lol love me some meteora.





DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

But yeah, I kinda see what you’re saying about them using the marketing to be super emotional. Though, I still think it’s a heartfelt project overall

RaylanCrowder
June 26th 2020


117 Comments


"I got indigestion from reading that lol love me some meteora."

It and One more light are the only Linkin Park albums I can't finish in one sitting, I find them too formulaic and repetitive. I love Breaking the Habit and enjoy Don't Stay and Numb, but don't care for the rest

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Fair enough like. I find mtm to be their most bland and thp to be their most derivative though. Meteora is more like a refinement of ht imo, and it works well. Though, I’m definitely showing bias coz I nostalgia on that album hard

RaylanCrowder
June 26th 2020


117 Comments


"Fair enough like. I find mtm to be their most bland and thp to be their most derivative though. Meteora is more like a refinement of ht imo, and it works well."

MTM is imo a very disjointed attempt at a concept album and derivative of British mainstream rock bands like U2, The Verve and Coldplay but absolutely nails it in a few songs, especially The little things give you away

THP sounds like it could have been made in the 90s but I can't really name which bands it may be derivative of, except that Rebellion sounds like a more accessible System of a Down song for obvious reasons

With Meteora, i think it is at times a refinement from a production and instrumental standpoint especially on Breaking the habit but it shows little growth or even a step back in the song structure and lyrics. Somewhere I belong is the worst offender here imo, fantastic instrumentals but cringe lyrics. With HT im more forgiving cos its a debut album and they were finding their feet, yet even so I found it much better than Meteora

Pho3nix
June 26th 2020


856 Comments


Had no idea about this, thank you for the review. Gonna have to give it a spin.

WillieD
June 26th 2020


266 Comments


Overproduced garbage.

jouroboros
June 27th 2020


48 Comments


Morei Sky is a pretty catchy tune

bananatossing
June 27th 2020


1274 Comments


It's okay. At least it's not One More Light bad.

Larkinhill
June 27th 2020


6724 Comments


I don’t know, I’m really liking this so far. But I’m admittedly a huge Chester fanboy.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2020


16436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

would definitely take OML over this. I'm really surprised by the lack of people pointing out how bad the production is on this; it's so damn flaccid.

ReiniEden
June 27th 2020


105 Comments


I don't think this was necessary, the originals are so much better than these revisionings.

Digging: Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue

Larkinhill
June 27th 2020


6724 Comments


B12 is fucking great.



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