“I’ll burn down this bridge / And set my life up in smoke
You used to be mine /My world used to shine like gold”
On the surface Grayscale’s Adornment is a methodical maturation complete with catchy hooks and commanding riffs, but on a deeper level it’s a cathartic release of stories and responses to life that manage to be both personal and universal. It takes several listens to truly appreciate the record since the instrumentals are just as attention grabbing as the lyrics, but eventually you start to discover the emotions it was created with and even the ones it is sure to create in you.
Producing with Kyle Black (State Champs, Hit The Lights) allowed Grayscale to reach their full potential sonically. Each track is carefully layered which makes every play a little bit different, with the possibility of perpetually uncovering something new. It’s clear from the 11 songs that make up Adornment that the band is confident in their unique sound but don’t shy away from experimenting with different elements and song structures.
“Come Undone” is an instant hit, a dynamic song with irresistible rhythm and complimentary guest vocals from Patty Walters of As Is It. The single “Atlantic” is a prime example of the group’s growth since their debut; Collin Walsh’s vocals soar over intertwining guitar work, patient yet purposeful drumming, and glittering bass lines. Much of the song-writing on Adornment reads like modern poetry, most poignant the acoustic “Forever Yours” with “All the promises, vows under the covers / We would play pretend, my love but it was real to me”. Heart-breaking in a different sense is “Beautiful Things” which has an open dialogue with someone who wants to give up on life, a subject not usually talked about so directly in music but unfortunately is all too real. Mental health and illness are being discussed publically more and more and thankfully this music scene has it’s own resources such as Hope For The Day, Punk Talks, and To Write Love On Her Arms.
There’s many memorable moments throughout the record, all wrapping up with a true gang vocal / jam session on “If I Ever See You Again”, but from start to finish it’s a non-stop cinematic encounter—vivid imagery fabricated by the lyrics and emotional atmosphere created by the instrumentals. Adornment is a record you can grow with. Certain songs that could help you work through different life experiences will start to make more sense with age, and match differently with each of the 4 seasons. Albums are such a palpable way to soundtrack our own lives; it’s why I am still attached to early records from The Dangerous Summer, A Day To Remember, and Mayday Parade; and I can already see Grayscale’s Adornment playing a comforting companion role in the lives of many.
Buy It, Stream It, or Skip It? Buy it! Partially because there’s an orange sherbert vinyl variant, partially because you’ll want to stare at the album artwork, mostly because I know there’s guaranteed to be some songs you’ll want to always have with you.