Grex – “Second Marriage” – [Self Released]
Dual EP full-length release of a very new and different kind of pop from these Mills College alum revolving around the songwriting prowess of partners Karl Evangelista and M. Rei Scampavia and joined by the pointed punctuation of Jordan Glenn’s drums and a couple other friends on horns and bass. Who knows if there was a first marriage, but this is their 3rd full length release and seems to be much more together and precise, despite its sprawling of myriad musical styles. Heavily jazz influenced, with leaning towards more avant styles, but situated firmly in the 70s prog realm, even covering a Cardiacs song on track 7. Don’t stop there, as this is fed hefty helpings of experimental noise, heavy metal and open sound improv, all this lathered in glittery lounge grooves and dreamy psychedelia. True genre warping music as one might expect from a bunch of Mills kids. Personal and heartfelt songs about love lost and found, aspired and realized. Victorious ballads and somber introspections abound with the second EP slightly more upbeat and positive. Except the recounting of events surrounding Dolphy’s death, an epic 10 plus minute story that broods and explodes, a highlight on the album. Up Popped the Snake also provides a moody build that is beautiful yet unsettling. All in all a very pretty and very different album, recalling past styles but taking them in entirely new directions.