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review:

Get a Grip

Chris Auman

Early Iteration - cover art for Philly based post-hardcore band Grip


Early Iteration
Grip
[no label]

When Grip’s debut album, Early Iteration, grabs a hold of your ears, good luck prying off those cold, dead fingers. From the very first seconds of feedback that signal the start of leadoff track, “Entrance,” until the album closes an hour later with “Judgment,” it’s all they way on. That’s not to say the pace never relents. There are brief instrumental interludes scattered about that give a respite from the aural anguish, but it doesn’t last. Even when things do chill out momentarily, the tension never fully abates for the majority of this 9-song album.

Early Iteration is the result of nearly four years of writing and self-recording work. The tracks were recorded in Philadelphia and Chicago between 2016 and 2019. It’s the first release for this Philly band since their 5-song "Wolves/Fawn" EP in 2015, put out a year after the band’s formation. At this point in its tenure, Grip is a duo with Alex handling the guitar and vocals and Dan on the bass with both handling the drum programming.

According to the description on the band’s Bandcamp page for the album, “Early Iteration draws upon a mythic structure to deliver a multifaceted narrative addressing sacrifice, belief, and the evolution of an idea.” The listener will have to take the band’s word for it, as the lyrics are not easy to decipher. They’re delivered with abrasive, throat ravaging vocals. Yes, there will be screaming—not all all uncommon in the post hardcore genre which seems to be defined by aggression and brutality.

The album art, as sparse and bare bones as the music, was created by Alex. Grip also dubs and releases their own music on cassette, which to date has included a few singles and the previously mentioned EP, in addition to this full-length.

Stream the Early Iteration on BandCamp. 

Philadelphia, PA post-hardcore band Grip

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