Michael A Grammar - Vitamin Easy [EP]
Scrolling through the dark depths of the internet (not quite intranet) I enter the crypt of MySpace, and find my target Michael A Grammar. A terrific showcase of artwork conjured by collaborative-duo Tom Stoke and Luca George allows me to flick Vitamin Easy on with wistful optimism. Their brand new EP, charmingly named after a phantom crashed computer track, is primarily about the guys challenging themselves.
Swells of synth hugged by eyebrow-raising tonality, 'Upside Down' eases us into Vitamin Easy. Soon we can hear interesting textural elements coming together; shuffled drums, a breathy main vocal, and guitars pitted against softened bass sounds. There has been a natural shift in British music toward more progressive sounds in the last 18 months, and this boasts that trend. Unlike many of their contemporaries, there's depth here.
'All Night Afloat' feels closer to their heart. With a flavour of aggression to it, you welcome the softer moments with open arms – the vocal melody insinuating hallucinatory frenzy. The guitar-work throughout is very good; both technical, and melodic, yet it sits delightfully in the mix. However, they don't drive the recordings - even the boisterous guitar on track 'Light Of Darkness' takes more of a backseat than the rhythmical elements. Closing track 'King And Barnes' beholds eastern- influenced melody, which shows the dynamic nature of the instrumentation.
In their press release David Bowie and Roxy Music are cited as close influences to the band, which is identifiable to an extent, but it'd be great to hear a bit more onus on song writing. Lyrics like "Take it easy on yourself, till you feel easier than hell" – are more of a hindrance than a help when you're looking for people to lose themselves in your music. If more were in the style of 'King And Barnes', it would be a more succinct offering.
After the opening track, the rest of the EP is more expected – packed to the brim with aggressive songs doused in delayed guitar, trickles of absurd sound, and aggressed vocal. Michael A Grammar's version of psychedelia is the aesthetic, and whilst this sometimes doesn't feel completely natural, you wouldn't expect it to; it sounds like a beginning – and that's all it has to be.