The Griswolds Are Proof You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
Ok, so hold on. You probably are lookin’ at these dudes and think they are some run-of-the-mill white-dude alternative rock band… but let me tell you, this is one of those moments where we have to be reminded to not judge a book by it’s cover.
In fact, I would be hard pressed to group these guys in the “alternative rock” genre at all, as their new album, “High Times For Low Lives,” honestly sounds like a glorious amalgamation of early Michael & Janet Jackson pop with R&B layered vocals that sound like The Weeknd. No joke.
If you look a bit deeper, you’ll realize their producer has worked with Kanye and Sleigh Bells, and one of our super faves Lizzo, is featured on one of their songs. Insert shocked emoji face here (or use the mind explosion emoji, if you have the new update), and get your ears on this album ASAP.
After a few tunes, you’ll see that The Griswolds (yes, named after the family in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) are quite literally the definition of “genre-bending,” as they hit all the sounds from your fave bands like DNCE & The Weeknd; underscores like 80’s John Hughes movies and Stranger Things; to old throwbacks like Michael, Janet and even The Time.
The album debuted last week, entitled, “High Times For Low Lives,” and has fourteen tracks for you to try and decide if they are alt-rock, EDM, pop-synth, or something else…. Go on, try it, I dare you. We’ll be taking votes at Happy Hour.
Role Models – In this opening track, Chris Whitehall sings, “We ain’t your role models, We got nothing to lose,” and has similar bass-driven grooves and vocals of the Joe Jonas fronted DNCE.
Out of My Head – You may relate to some of the lyrics on this one: “Don’t call my phone, ‘cause nobody’s home. I want you out of my head.” It also features an 80’s synth solo that’s super sick.
Birthday – Birthday’s got slower, heavy dusty drums with literally the same synth sounds as heard on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” with happy ska-type guitar layered over top. And oh yeah, the most important part, the lyrics: “Gonna Get high on your birthday.”
YDLM – If you love Lizzo, then I shouldn’t need to say anything else. But, I will say: This sounds like The Time (from the film Purple Rain) with Lizzo rapping “If you don’t love me, then I just don’t give a f*ck.” To which we say YAS.
Rufio – This track has some pretty sick R&B layered vocals al la The Weeknd, but with dare I say, a better melody. Shhh don’t tell the Weeknd I said that.
Feels So Right – If you are that girl that stands up and says “this is my songggg” when Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Rock With You” plays in the club, this one’s for you, girl.
James Joint – This track is a serious piano ballad with odd, eerie harmonies but has the amazing lyric, “I’d rather be smoking weed.” You’re welcome.
Hate That I Don’t Hate You – This one is a super cool R&B groove ballad, with indie-alt tropical sounds that are a Griswolds’ signature.
Lookin’ for Love – This track is the epitome of 80’s pop-synth meets The Weeknd.
Get Into My Heart – This pop-synth track has some major Miami tropical beach vibes with its’ Caribbean sounds. You’ll def miss the summer with this one.
High Times For Low Lives – With raw vocals and simplistic piano, this track would be perfect as any 80’s teen angst film underscore.
I Want It All – With an epic ending to the album with the EDM feels cranked up, this track is for you if you liked the Stranger Things score with that super 80’s synth and a dash of super melodic guitar on top.