London Grammar – Metal & Dust 8/10
Metal & Dust
Newcomer London Trio London Grammar is making a splash with their debut EP, Metal and Dust. Consisting of vocalist Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Don Rothman, they have managed not to get lost in the almost oversaturated industry of siren voiced women-led groups of late, and have crafted a wonderful 3 track project that hints at great things to come.
The opening track, “Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me” sets a somber tone over bongos and layered muted guitars (that sound slightly like steel drums), one can almost hear Hannah’s anguish and desperation, her voice dominating over the rather minimalist backdrop.
“Hey Now” keeps a somber tone, in which the voice carries a barebones production consisting of more muted guitars and a lonely snare. One cannot help but think of the xx’s influence on the track, but it feels much fuller and whole, and never slips into the background as the xx’s tracks sometimes do.
“Metal and Dust”, the track title from the EP, and in this reviewer’s most humble opinion, the strongest track on the project, is a mélange of various influences. The echoes of Madonna’s “Frozen” and Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy” give it a distinctly trip-hop vibe at moments. The chorus, in which “we argue, we don’t fight” is sung repeatedly describes the falling apart of a relationship already devoid of emotion. In short, all that is left is cold, metal and dust.
Band member Dot Major’s remix of “Hey Now” is the most complicated production wise, but overall feels superfluous. Even though the production is good, it detracts from the best part about London Grammar; the voice. All in all, Metal and Dust is a very strong first EP that will hopefully be the catalyst for a great debut album.