FEATURE SINGLE: Gral Brothers -“Crowbar”(Desert Records, 2020)
by Blake Edward Conley
Albuquerque’s GRAL Brothers may be a duo, but no one is resting on their laurels. The band consists of Alex McMahon and Greg Williams, each on an array of instruments from the main focus of pedal steel and drums, but swelling to guitar, bass, tape loops, and various effects.
The band will be giving us the full gamut of their prowess on march 20th through their album Caravan East, released by Desert Records, but they allow us a little something special for all our respective sweethearts (or perhaps we are the sweethearts in this scenario) by releasing the first single ‘Crowbar’ on Valentine’s Day.
As far as first tastes go, this is a stunning one. The song seems to roll on like a car on I-10 through the desert they call home. The car radio seemingly gaining, losing, and crossfading reception across a string of stations, but each one is playing an interpretation of the same song. Twangy Morricone-esque guitar slides into drips of pedal steel and back out again in a dizzying carousel of textures while underneath is a steady slightly blown out bit of beat that feels like a lost overdub from Tom Waits ‘Raindogs’ album. Each pass through giving us a feel for our location on the ride while leaving us to wonder what we are missing by seeing it fly by the window
This is a perfect teaser of a song in that it shows us many possible directions the album could go without telling us where it will. The ride has just begun. GRAL Brothers have pulled over for gas and cigarettes at the rest stop and I am anxiously waiting for them to get back behind the wheel on March 20th to see where we are being taken.
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