Free music offerings from local indie bands is often a matter of chance. Either it is an unexpected gem or there is a good reason why they're just giving the thing away (i.e. it sucks). Whether it's through Bandcamp or Last.fm's own MP3 offering system, there's a realm of free music for the discerning music fan to discover.
One of these is the Awesome Knives EP by Springfield, Missouri's indie screamo rock band Grammer (spelling intentional). It's short – the longest track is barely three and a half minutes – but it does not lack in substance.
At their page, Grammer says that the EP is inspired by “The Earth, The Music, and The Children”. There is definitely something earthy, almost primal, about their tracks, but they never become inaccessible to those not used to the alt scream scene.
If there's a theme to be found throughout Awesome Knives, it's the hopeless angst of modern twenty-somethings that have been wrung dry by society. The lyrics are not the most complex or complicated in this genre, but they're as straightforward as band member Alex's thunderous drumming, which punctuates through the heart of every track.
Lead singer Maxx dips between Morrissey-esque vocals dipped in emo rock and his rougher voice that climbs into more emotional screams. The guitars on each track are what bring everything down to earth. The combined efforts of Dakota, Miles and Alex on guitar creates the hooks for the EP's most memorable tracks: “Quite (Your Job)” and the ending song “Cigarette Regimen”.
If anything, Awesome Knives is the perfect primer for the sound of Grammer. It's an audio ode to the current emo scream rock scene in the Midwest, and it is definitely worth the space on your hard drive for the download.
The five track release of Awesome Knives is currently available through the band's Bandcamp page and has been out since late February of this year. Physical copies can be obtained through links at the above page.
Grammer is currently on tour. Their latest tour date is for August 1 at The Outland in Springfield. They will be performing on the same stage as Casey Jack Band, Boy Parts and Histories.