With only a few moments to spare during a busy weekend in Big Bear, I thought I’d share with you all a single submitted to the site weeks ago. Residing in Finland, progressive/art rock band Grus Paridae released their debut single “Passes By” last year. Consisting of two single tracks lasting a total of ten minutes, I was impressed with the overall quality of the band’s orchestrations, but felt differently about the band’s vocal performance.
With only two compositions on this mini-album, and being their first ever release, it’s hard to delve deep into the little material they have released. Band members Petteri Kurki and Rami Turtiainen provided nearly all of the orchestrations on the songs, ranging from vocals, to guitars, to drum-programming. Starting off with a simple acoustic guitar intro on the title track, I enjoyed the laidback approach to the song. Containing subtle raindrops in the background, I felt like I was back in the mountains with a cup of coffee staring out the window. The clever placement of violin arrangements add to the emotion of the song. With a sound ranging somewhere between Pink Floyd and softer Opeth, I thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration between Kurki and Turtiainen. The second song “Inheritance of Devotion” starts off much more experimental with a chromatic violin piece, followed by eerie low-register vocals. The song honestly reminds me of newer material by John Frusciante, not necessarily as progressive, but an attention grabbing listen that makes the listener think of what they have just listened.
Although I enjoyed the musical arrangements of the band, the vocal performance was lacking in “Passes By.” With a softer and quieter voice, I felt that whoever sang in these songs were hiding a poor singing voice. In repeating these two songs, I almost wish the band had released an instrumental version of the two tracks. The use of guitars, drums, and violins help cover up the vocal performance of the band, but may not necessarily hide it altogether from other listeners.
For being Grus Paridae’s first two tracks ever released, I felt “Passes By” was a successful debut. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy the vocals of the band, I enjoyed the great guitar rhythms, passionate guitar solos, and the violin arrangements in both songs. You can support these guys by following them on their Facebook page for band updates. I look forward to seeing what direction the band takes with their next release, but hope they can improve on their vocal quality.
Purchase “Passes By” by Grus Paridae by clicking the album cover above!
Check out the official music video for their song “Passes By”: