The Grift, Life Beyond Aluminum | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

The Grift, Life Beyond Aluminum 

Published March 9, 2005 at 7:28 p.m.

(GlennSource Records, CD)

As the spotlight on the jam-band scene grows dimmer, you have to wonder if bands like The Grift are the result or the cause of the genre's waning popularity. At a time when many groups are striving for something new and different, The Grift have released their second studio album, Life Beyond Aluminum. Unfortunately, it's a derivative melange of the worst aspects of the last 10 years in music.

Composed of four transplants now calling Vermont their home, The Grift aim for that good old, Strangefolk-style groove feel. Except they've left out most of the catchy hooks. Repetitive guitar strumming is partially hidden behind superfluous DJ scratching, resulting in a mismatched urban-folk collision. Live bands have successfully brought in record cutters before, but it helps when the DJ does more than just scratch the word break back and forth.

Vocal harmonies are the highlight of the disc; for the most part the band's smartly rhythmic singing complements the music. Of course, there are several exceptions, such as when they attempt to (gasp!) rap over their folksy melodies. With odes to living in West Addison, playing at UVM and claims that Route 22A is "better known as the deuce-deuce," this is hip-hop for your grandmother to enjoy.

The main problem with Life Beyond Aluminum is that it never really takes off, energy-wise. Whatever dynamic these guys may have in their live performances somehow wasn't captured in the studio. Lost girlfriends and self-indulgence are common lyrical themes, which drag the music into tepid ballad territory. The disc starts off upbeat, but each track seems to be slower than the previous one. Things start to pick up again halfway through the cut "Vegas." A gritty guitar hook is complemented by a welcome trumpet overlay, but the tune quickly falls back into the same lackadaisical haze.

The real con here -- the true "grift" -- is that the band has the balls to call itself a funk act. But the soul is probably at the bottom of their Birkenstocks. The Grift play at Nectar's every Wednesday through the month of March, plowing through a different decade of cover tunes in each set. You can hear for yourself how their own music stands up to rock's greatest hits.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Adam King


Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2023 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation