Grayson Venters

Give Me Your Skin EP

Written by: DR on 02/03/2010 14:25:29

Whilst seeking similar indie/alternative bands to the likes of Brand New and Manchester Orchestra I came across a young band by the name of The Devil And The Lion, who had recently split up and were giving away their music for free. The frontman had a strain to his voice reminiscent of Jesse Lacey, whilst packing a heavy As Cities Burn influence - looking back, it was obvious that I was only ever going to fall in love with them. I then saw that the former vocalist had a new acoustic project; in hindsight, my affection for this one too seems as though it had been written in stone.

I initially thought that Grayson Venters was a fairly old adult - I hadn't seen any photos nor had I read anything whatsoever about him. My basis was purely on his voice, and his lyrics. If you give a teenager an acoustic guitar it will most likely lead to bad rhymes, whines and pines, but also, as Soupy from The Wonder Years would say, "sappy bullshit", (NeverShoutNever, I'm looking down at you). This isn't the case with Venters. He is a teenager, and sings and writes about topics such as faith with such conviction that my initial assumptions about his age were well-founded, for his ability and thematic exploration far outweighs his age. "The War" is the finest example of not only his depth and intelligence, but also his vulnerability. It's a solemn song, and a very bare song - by that I mean it's only the acoustic guitar and no drums, you can even hear background noise of cars whilst Venters softly sings such lyrics as "I feel ashamed, I fear I'm wasting away / But what can I learn from the world when it's the world in my way? / 'Cause my faith in God was stronger as a kid than it is each new day." By some distance, it's the best song on this EP.

That song is a sort of hollow victory. I've spent so much time listening to it on repeat when I perhaps should have been giving the other five more of a chance. Though I've noticed "My Disease" and "A Highly Inferior Vessel" are interesting and good enough to show potential for Venters in areas other than being all pensive and religious. As it stands though, one song is way out in front of the pack, and I'd like to see Grayson Venters venture further into that style.


Download: The War; A Highly Inferior Vessel
For The Fans of: Kevin Devine; Right Away, Great Captain!
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 2009

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