Greyskull: Eighties Kids

a0296667320_10As I mentioned in my day one recap of the Human Music Festival, before even entering the building I randomly bumped into Greyskull, which was amazing as much as it was unfortunate. What I mean by this is that, by such an act of happenstance, Greyskull officially became the first synthwave producer that I’ve ever met in person.

Unfortunately, due to the randomness of our encounter, I was woefully unprepared to capitalize on the moment and let it slip through my fingers. While we would later swap words on Twitter during the show, I felt as though this long overdue review is partly my way of saying sorry and that next year, at the 2018 Human Music Festival, I hope that we can reconnect for real as I also hopefully watch him get to play on stage!

It was a shame he couldn’t do so this year, because he absolutely deserves the opportunity, especially with such a fantastic album as “Eighties Kids” on his musical resume. The album as a whole is like the soundtrack to one’s youth, not simply thanks to the title of each song, but particularly in the emotions that each track manages to encapsulate about one’s more carefree and innocent days:

It starts off strong with Run for the Treeline, featuring an amazing solo near the end of the song that really has to be heard to be believed, and is but a small taste of what Greyskull has in store on the rest of the album. In fact, speaking of solos, When I See Her, I’ll Tell Her has an impressive one as well which really stands out amongst it’s more docile backing track in comparison to the more fast paced one in Run for the Treeline. Already in the first two tracks you can get a sense of what Greyskull can do, but he’s not done yet, not by a longshot!

Ride the Path is at times a fast and hectic composition, starting out smooth before ramping up into overdrive, like a casual ride into the woods turned into a high speed neighborhood chase on bikes. That said, Get The Bikes is a dark and brooding follow up, with synth work that reminded me of Goblin, and although it’s the shortest track on the whole album it certainly still hits you quite hard.

Outside My Garage feat. Stephen Galgocy is the first of two songs which feature vocals and it plays like a ballad reminiscing of all the sights, sounds, and imagery that you remember from when you were a kid; very Springsteen-esque. You Can Bring Your Toys comes in like a siren, sounding the call to bring out the proverbial playthings, but this track does not mess around with it’s smooth and calming nature. Off Of The Ground slowly ramps it back up again and, like the name suggests, should get you up and dancing a little bit with it’s toe-tapping beat before launching into a haunting guitar solo which seems to echo within your very soul; there’s even a nice little bit of shredding! Funky for sure.

If you’re still dancing, and looking for a ride home, don’t worry because the next track is entitled Picked Up From The Dance and it’s a bit of a slow jam in comparison. It’s the kind of song you play while driving at night, the windows down, feeling the cool breeze after a wild night. That is until the guitar comes back with a vengeance, like memories of said dance rushing back into your mind, and a smile creeping across your face. You got that number.

Flashlight Tag is a fun little song, with a little guitar fingerpicking intertwined within some light and fancy synth work, followed by Beasts Of No Order which takes a bit of a darker and heavy turn to the point where it sounds like something straight out of a horror movie like Suspiria. The next track is the second and last one on the album with vocals, Save The Clock Tower feat. Regina L., and it’s a silky smooth tune with a sultry tone that’ll hypnotize you.

Cut Through My Yard breaks the spell with it’s fast paced outrun like tempo, keeping you on the edge of your bicycle seat while you grip the handlebars tightly. Finally, Orko’s Revenge keeps a little bit of that pace going, but in an otherworldly and mystical way, like cutting through that yard took you down the wrong path and into another dimension. Can you find your way back?

I hope so, because simply put you need to own this album, and I implore you to not go as long as I did in enjoying its rich and well crafted sounds. As I stated before, Greyskull knows what he’s doing and this album is proof of that, also I really want to see him play at the 2018 Human Music Festival. Therefore, I can only hope that I’m helping to do my part in getting the word out about him just that much more through this review. Here’s to our next meeting, Greyskull!