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Grey Does Matter
Your Job Will Kill You
Pop Rally! Records

Grey Does Matter's debut, the lauded 2004 release How To Make Millions In Real Estate, announced the arrival of the multi-talented and entirely self-sufficient Jason Crawford. Crawford was the sole songwriter, musician, and producer on the record, which sold more than 5,000 copies without a record label or major distributor. He was so independent, in fact, that he played the first Grey Does Matter shows with a Nintendo Game Boy - which, of course, he programmed - as his band.

With the hard-earned success of that record under his belt, Crawford eschewed the one-man approach and led Grey Does Matter to the studio as a real three-piece rock band to record the follow-up. The result was the outstanding Your Job Will Kill You, featuring drummer Jon Webber and multi-instrumentalist Amos. Webber anchors the record with a skillful balance of precision and aggression. His snare is like the crack of a whip, and his propulsive rhythms favorably recall Dave Grohl. Amos not only plays an array of instruments, but has invented a range of them himself. His various electronic creations add sounds and textures throughout Your Job Will Kill You - the wild electronic experiments of "Whole Sale" and his inventive oscillator work in "Rake Your Leaves" are particularly impressive. He also conceived a hybrid instrument that is one-fourth bass guitar and three-fourths guitar, which allows him to play both instruments at once.

All of this might not matter if Your Job Will Kill You didn't feature a uniformly strong set of songs. The band fuses the pop-rock craftsmanship of bands like Weezer and Green Day, the live-wire tension of the Talking Heads, and the endearingly menacing vocals of the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano. The opening track, "Irregular Embraces," is a dynamic piece of pop-rock, starting quietly and building to a soaring climax. "Unlimited Fun Shine" and "Summer Song" are excellent, light-hearted pop-punk, and "Already All Ready" is a new wave throwback that recalls classic Blondie. The band slows the tempo on "So Easy" and "Gatehouse." While the former is the album's weakest track, overly simple both lyrically and musically, the haunting "Gatehouse" features some of Crawford's strongest vocals and his most emotionally direct lyrics.

Your Job Will Kill You is not designed to be a groundbreaking record, but it is an inspired statement in a genre with fewer and fewer highlights. It's difficult to make this kind of music without sounding derivative, but Grey Does Matter provides enough twists to make this a truly refreshing record. The band's formula is simple: great songs, spirited performances, and no need to be anything besides an outstanding rock band. And, perhaps most encouragingly, Crawford is a talented songwriter and restlessly creative bandleader. Under his guidance, Grey Does Matter should continue to refine its already impressive talents. This is essential for fans of the genre, and suggests that a lot more people may hear about Grey Does Matter in years to come.

-Dan Warren

Track Listing:
1. Irregular Embraces
2. Unlimited Fun Shine
3. Wait For Me
4. So Easy
5. Rake Your Leaves
6. Another Mistake
7. Summer Song
8. Whole Sale
9. Already All Ready
10. Gatehouse
11. Life From Under

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