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Grumsling’s A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea EP Review

Artist: Grumsling

EP: A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea

Production: Recorded at House of Faith Recording in Oakland; Tracked and mixed by “Recording Guy” Bart Thurber; Mastered by Bill Williams

Sometimes the most revealing and informative insight into a person’s emotions and motivations can be the exact thing they wish to keep the most secretive and protected in their life. But purposefully shielding that information from the world, in an effort preserve their self-worth and image amongst those they care about the most, can make them even more vulnerable, as they won’t allow anyone to truly see their real personality. That relatable and emotional susceptibleness is captivatingly showcased in ‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea,’ the newly released EP from indie-alt rock band, Grumsling. The Oakland-based band enthrallingly hints at the understandable feelings of despair of seeing the person they so intensely care about walk away, but still not being able to muster the courage to finally divulge their biggest sentiments.

‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea’ begins with the equally surprising and emotionally gratifying song, ‘Tree.’ The track unexpectedly begins with a soothing keyboard and drum introduction from lead vocalist and guitarist, Carl Flynn, and backup instrumentalists and singers D.J. Lowe, Matt Lowe and Dominic Rodriguez. The gratifying rock undertones in the group’s instrumentals then lead way into the personal lyrics that reveal that Flynn knows what’s really happening with the person he loves the most in his life. The singer grippingly encourages listeners to rise above those people who are trying to hold them down, so that they can exceed their unjust limitations.

‘Tree,’ which interestingly begins to utilize more alt-rock drum and guitar styles at the end, in an effort to encourage people to take full charge of their lives, moves into the best song on the EP, ‘Pre Game.’ The track, which entrancingly begins with another extended instrumental introduction with soothing keyboards and drums, powerfully questions who people can give their love to when they don’t want to see the person they care about leave.

While the track grippingly notes that everyone is free to make their own decisions, the people they most closely connect with are then devastatingly left to put their own emotions on the line as they also try to move on. The entry enthrallingly highlights the harrowing process of contending with separation from a loved one, as they both consider why they’re disconnecting from each other. But ‘Pre Game’ does smartly note that not everyone feels the need to play games with the people who have left them, as they know what happens when they lose.

The at-times heartbreaking, but completely heartfelt and emotional, ‘Pre Game’ then grippingly gives way to the radio-friendly up-beat song, ‘The Game.’ While Flynn once again sings about realizing that nothing in a relationship will be the same if people start playing games, he also motivatingly encourages people not to let their emotions control their actions. He notes that if people spend their time engaging in reckless actions and only worrying about the past and future, they’ll waste the opportunity to truly live in, and enjoy, the present.

The EP’s next track, ‘Roberta Sparrow,’ once again emphasizes Grumsling’s signature mellow lyrics and instruments, including organ-inspired keyboards, drums and guitars. The song encourages listeners to embrace a moment of clarity and serenity as they try to accept their lives during times of destruction.

Following the soothing ‘Roberta Sparrow,’ ‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea’ then ends with the triumphant and life-defining jazz-infussed track, ‘Lightning.’ The epic five-minute long song intelligently questions if anyone’s truly being seen and heard, much less recognized, by their peers. As people try to shape the image they will present to the world, and keep their true selves hidden as they battle their secrets, they start to understand why they’re not being appreciated. As everyone starts to understand how not being completely trusting of the people they care the most about can damage their relationships, they’ll finally understand the most important connections in life.

‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea’ is the latest powerful and insightful EP from indie-alt rock band, Grumsling, who captivatingly offer a new understanding of what it truly means to love and connect with someone. People being able to finally dispel the fear of unveiling their imperfections and secrets, and finally showcasing who they truly are to those they care about the most, is the gratifying message in the new classic rock band’s compelling lyrics. From the best song on the EP, the heartfelt and emotional ‘Pre Game,’ to the epic final entry, ‘Lightning,’ ‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea’ enthralling advises listeners that constantly hiding their true personalities can actually be the most revealing and devastating decision they’ll ever make.

For more information on Grumsling, visit the band’s official website, as well as its Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter pages. Listen to ‘A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea’ in its entirety below.

Grumsling's A Church, On a Boat, In the Sea EP Review

Written by: Karen Benardello

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As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.

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