Grammatics - D.I.L.E.M.M.A/Polar Swelling
Simon Jay Catling 24/04/2008
Grammatics are a band who sure know how to make themselves contentious; featuring the kind of Foals influenced sharp, angular percussion that's starting to be the focal point of rather a few too many bands at the moment, and coupled with vocals delivered so sincerely that they're almost certainly going to be revered or ridiculed, D.I.L.E.M.M.A is nothing short of a bold statement by the Leeds-based quartet.
Which side of the fence am I going to fall on then? Well let's get some hasty plus points put down here shall we; don't worry about the Foals thing for although possibly taking influence from the Oxfordshire group, Grammatics display enough know-how to realise when they might apeing Britain's latest big things a tad too much. In this case it means a roaring, beast of an outro takes the song into an altogether different territory that (whisper it) Panic! At The Disco could probably appreciate. Unique too is lead singer Owen Brinley's voice; swooning and bleeding across the tapestry of the music behind him, and showcasing an impressive falsetto delivery which again takes the song as a whole into somewhere a bit more bombastic than most of their “math rock” (if such a genre exists) peers. Let's not get too carried away though, for whilst for the most part the fairly tight, compressed production works on this song, it somewhat lessen the effect of Brinley's vocals, and when the band choose to whip up a cacophony of noise behind him towards the end it feels like that they could have perhaps stepped it up a couple of notches further in order to provide a bit more contrast between the wistful, resigned verse and the blustering, playful finish. Polar Swelling is again a different animal from the lead track on this double A-side, all crisp hi-hat and chorded synths slowly building behind Owen Brinley's vocals and even some rather darkness inducing violin. At over six minutes long it is a bit on the long side but its refreshing to see a band willing to show two sides of themselves on the same single.
Grammatics are certainly a band with plenty to give, possessing as they do a certain amount of diversity and willingness provide a challenging yet accessible sound. Now all they need to do is explore some of the less discovered aspects of their sound and we could be onto something very interesting indeed.