GREM - "Esme" c30 (Skrot Up)

I really can't stop listening to this tape.It's nothing terribly unique or unheard of, but the songs are well written, and after hearing it on from both my computer and my ipod, it's one of those rare recordings that actually sound spectacular through Walkman headphones.Grem is a solo project of one Mr. Shaun Durkan, a core member of San Fransisco band, Weekend.With a lack of any real information about this release, I'm going to have to assume that he plays all of the instruments on the songs, which is quite impressive.This has a heavy 90's alternative vibe, and that is a very good thing in this case.It sounds like an early AmRep band trying to play melodic indie pop tunes, but also like a modern folk band playing messy grunge jams.It's somewhere right in the middle.Fuzzy, blown out guitars create walls of riffing, with some insanely catchy melodies and heavy chord structures.Dirty acoustics strum along quite often, coupled with dense synthesizer buzzing, making for a glitchy, eclectic sound.Most of the songs are mid-paced bangers, with heavily processed guitars making for a heady ,shoegaze vibe.Durkan's voice howls away beneath the murky swells, but there's a few moments of slow and muddy balladry, where the vocals burst through a bit more, and they are quite nice and tuneful.The highlight of this tape, is the ultra-slowed, downer cover of Chris Isaak's mega hit, Wicked Game, if you can imagine anything more of downer than that.It's fantastic.Black Skull is a deep closer, and Durkan shows that he knows how to track an album properly.A perfectly gloomy ending to this awesome piece of music.