Grafton has been pounding its way around the Columbus rock scene for many moons at this point. I have always been a fan of the band’s hard and heavy live show, but their previous full-length releases have been a bit too lo-fi and gravelly for my fragile ears. With their third album Jumpstart Wire, however, I believe the trio of Lou Poster (guitar/lead vocals), Jason McKiernan (drums/backup vocals), and Will Pugh (bass/backup vocals) has turned a corner in its studio career and cranked out its best album yet. The sound, though definitely not heavily polished, is clean enough for Poster’s menacing vocals to be intelligibly menacing, and therefore carry more weight. His guitar work mixes in well, with the occasional searing lead lick complimenting some good ol’ fashioned chugging. The rhythm section is a well-oiled machine at this point, especially when revving up at the album’s loudest points.
Though the boys may not have a reputation for super complex songwriting, the tunes on the album do utilize a handful of different styles and sounds within the realm of hard rock. The album gets off and running with three straight uptempo scorchers before hitting the ominous guitar echoes that open the almost grunge-y “We’ve Got Nothing Left,” one of my favorite tracks here. Poster gets brutal on the punkier “I Say Try” and then slows down with “Not the Kind of Color.” The rest of the album rocks pretty hard, until the second (at least) Columbus album creepy finale about a man and his gun of the year, “Hand Me My Gun.” Overall, the album flows well and is definitely a solid front-to-back listen. Grafton has achieved their finest recorded moment, and are surely on the verge of even better things.
To celebrate Jumpstart Wire‘s release on CD (via Dead Canary Records) and LP (via Columbus Discount Records), the boys will throw a release party show at Cafe Bourbon Street tonight in Columbus. Opening will be a mess of Columbus’ rockinest bands: Times New Viking, the Guinea Worms, and the Patsys. The release parties don’t show any sign of letting up at this point, which is a beautiful thing.
MP3: Never Had Less