Aussie born, The Griswolds emerged onto the scene with their debut LP, Be Impressive, in 2014 on Wind-Up Records, an American division label of Sony and Universal Music. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Dawson, (Kanye West, Sleigh Bells, fun.) the album takes the listener through an eclectic brew of party-pumping, anthemic tunes to more sultry, reﬂective ballads, such as the title track of the album, High Times for Low Lives.
Fame has it’s virtues and downfalls – it’s hypocrisy and it’s controversy – in which The Griswolds have done a relatively mediocre job at chronicling. But after all, the boys have previously commented on their heavy drug use contributing to being the main motivator for past penned songs, such as “Red Tuxedo.” It is fortunately becoming more and more accepted in the entertainment industry to be more vocal with issues such as mental health, substance abuse, and family issues.
The only ﬂaw in this body of work way be that this Australian quartet ceases to – amongst the pressures of the industry and the glamour of it all – speciﬁcally brand themselves based off of an attemptive throwback sound. The Lizzo-featured track, “YDLM,” channels a Footloose, Street Fighter feel, but the content of some of these songs is disappointedly redundant and cliché. When is it going to not be cool to do coke in the music industry? We certainly don’t need to be ﬂaunting it in our songwriting content, folks.
However, the boys thrive in a more Backstreet Boys’, relationship-y tunes, such as “I Want it All,” and “Ruﬁo.” The listener strives for a more simplistic feel, without the push at the ceiling for that #1 hit that major labels so thirstily squeeze out of their artists. The Griswolds shine via lead singer Christopher Whitehall’s airy, ethereal vocals and writing in the closing track, “I Want it All.”
Australia has really been bring us some great artists over the past year. The relationship between the US and Australian music industries seems to be a symbiotic one in the least, and we are happy to have The Griswolds as an addition to that list.
Article: Hillary Barleaux
Cover Image: Paige Wilson