So, we’ve covered this point before, and we will continue to labour this point until the end of forever; rock music is in exceedingly good health, especially in the UK. But in the sleepy village of Walsden, one man is helping to pump the thumping heart of rock. Step forward Jack Bennett, one man, coming to you as his band, Grumble Bee.
Despite that fact that he himself is one man, he’s able to do the work of a full band as a multi-instrumentalist, and brings you the best of two worlds, and his new EP Everything Between gives you a raw, rock sound on one half, but the second half offers a more emotional, acoustic based sound, and the only drawback of this EP is you spend your time working out which half you prefer.
Everything Between opens with Red, with a gently plucked acoustic intro before the full ‘band’ kicks into the song. The one thing that intstantly grabs you in Everything Between is the power of Jack’s voice; there’s a slightly coarse feel to it, but there’s a lot of raw power and emotion dripping on every word, something that’s a theme throughout this whole EP. Couple that to a slightly melancholic feel running through the veins of this album, you get a real powerful feeling to it.
Heron is the heaviest track on the EP, and is a really hearty rock banger, but, being the considerate young man he is, you’ll also find a beautifully done piano version of Heron on the other side of the EP. Again, it’s a real difficulty working out which half of this EP you like, or even which version of which song you like. Luna Blue is a nice easy listening track with modern rock sensibilities, and just has that coarse-yet-smooth voice powering the whole thing.
However, the stand out track of this EP is one that isn’t even a ‘new’ track. In fact, it could be called a classic Grumble Bee track, with a piano acoustic version of 2015’s Francium, which first appeared itself in 2016, adding a whole new dimension to the song, and whilst the original version of Francium is no slouch, the piano version is much bigger in its minimalism, with the delicateness of the piano and the power of Jack’s voice mixing together perfectly, with growing piano moving into a final, emotional gut punch of:
“I’ve given out all I can to resist // I can’t explain how bad it feels to let you in // This wall I’ve built for hanging up wrongs // I hope you feel the fear of loving someone.”
Again, this guy’s voice, Jesus Christ. It’s like being rubbed with silk and sandpaper at the same time. However, let’s not dwell on the melancholic, sombre tone of Francium for too long, and move on to Bravest Soul, which has a real optimism in its sound. The layering of sounds & production in this song is brilliant, the slight details, little tinkles, and uplifting strings all come together to produce a really uplifting sound. But, if layered sounds and uplifting strings aren’t your thing, he’s also recorded an acoustic version of Bravest Soul for you.
The lyrical theme throughout Everything Between is pretty melancholic, and though Bravest Soul is an uplifiting track by sound, lyrically, it’s quite downbeat, and the theme of heartbreak is one that is prevalent throughout this song and the EP. Take for starter, the chorus in Bravest Soul:
“And It’s over. And I can’t help but feel this way // I messed this up. Up and up, run far // Is it wrong, ‘cause it’s something I don’t want to say // It’s easier to love her, than face the fear to up and walk away”
But, in the melancholy and the tragedy of the lyrical theme, when you combine them with the sonic magic of the compositions themselves, they become absolutely beautiful, especially on the acoustic half of the album. Soft Filter, Black and White Picture is just a proper easy listening track, the sort you can lie in bed to on a slightly rainy Sunday morning. Another high point of the whole EP is just the general production of it, for a new band, getting your sound perfect is paramount, with Everything Between, it’s been mixed to perfection.
Front to back, it’s a really well written, beautifully played and expertly produced EP, and is really, really promising for the future. For the work of one man, Grumble Bee have a real sting in their sound, and are one of the most exciting little bands in this land.