Review by Bobby Green
When I first heard ‘Spotless (The Protecting Veil)’ and following singles ‘The Last Transmission’ and ‘Convenience’ I was genuinely excited about this Cork collective. Their use of samples may not be groundbreaking but when samples are used well they bring a track to life as effectively as a guitar sound or bass line does. But there’s more to The Grey Merchant than a few cheeky samples thrown over an awesome alternative soundtrack. This multi textured debut album highlights the possibilities that The Grey Merchant are only starting to scratch. It’s bursting with ideas and will restore anyone’s faith in the album as an art form.
Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t groundbreaking but Avenue De Rennes certainly delivers a knockout punch and is so much more than an introduction to their sound. Their full on flavour has the maturity of a fully seasoned band. The lead single from the album that shares the same name is a glorious stomper of tune but there isn’t a tune on this album that isn’t a riotous treat. Even the slower tempo numbers have a mischievous feel to them with edges so sharp you’ll be in danger of slicing your ears open if you’re not careful. This is highlighted in the difference between the stomping attack of single ‘Avenue De Rennes’ and the anthemic album track ‘The Exchange’. To bridge the gap between these two glorious examples of their sound you need great tracks in-between so the album doesn’t sound disjointed or just a collection of songs, but as I said at the top of this review, this is a great album full to the brim of great ideas woven together so well that as an album it’s refreshing to know that bands can still use this art form to the best of its ability to create what is my favorite mode of transport. The Album. And Avenue De Rennes will certainly take you places.
Avenue De Rennes is out Dec 15th
Pre-order Avenue De Rennes on Bandcamp here: https://thegreymerchant.bandcamp.com/album/avenue-de-rennes