Today, Neurot Recordings celebrates the 20th anniversary vinyl edition of Burden Of Hope, the debut album from multidimensional sonic explorers, GRAILS.
Originally formed under the moniker Laurel Canyon, the name of the group was changed to GRAILS to coincide with the original release of The Burden Of Hope in October 2003. Intuitively communicated and entirely instrumental, the band’s instrumentation collides with sober melodies and massive emotion. They deliver their fair share of ambient noise – shivery violins, a trickle of a high-hat, the amplified scrape of a guitar string – but rounded out with guitars, bass, piano, and drums, their music is wholly based on strong, narrative melodies that resonate in the heart. At times the music sounds delicate, but the band never cowers; GRAILS roars, even when they’re being gentle. The players on this record were Emil Amos – drums, Timothy Horner – violin, Alex Hall – guitar, William Slater – piano/bass, and Zak Riles – guitar.
With the news of the reissue, Neurosis/Neurot’s Steve Von Till reveals, “When I first put on the demo tape that GRAILS (then called Laurel Canyon) sent to Neurot Recordings it stopped me in my tracks and changed the course of the day. It was not only exactly what I wanted to hear that day, but what I needed to hear. The pastoral melodic guitars and violin textures played often with painful restraint took me where I wanted to go. Most instrumental music at the time was trying to emulate Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Mogwai, but this was different. This seemed to have elements from more diverse sources that I loved such as Dirty Three, Comus, Richard Thompson, and Neil Young, not to mention, who in hell would dare to cover Sun City Girls? This clearly aligned them more with outsider record collectors than any sort of trend following groups. This would become even more apparent as they evolved and morphed into the experimental psychedelic freaks they are today. It is one of my favorite albums from the Neurot catalog.”
GRAILS’ guitarist Alex Hall comments, “In 2003 we sent a package to the Neurot Recordings mailing address with a demo CDR that contained much of what would become The Burden Of Hope. When Steve Von Till called us out of the blue and offered to release the record, it cleared the weeds to reveal a path that we’ve been traversing ever since and which would come to define the rest of our lives. It means an enormous amount to us to be able to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the record with Neurot.”
GRAILS’ The Burden Of Hope LP is out now on Coke Bottle Clear in the US and Beer Vinyl in the UK/EU. Find both variants at the Neurot webshop HERE.
The Burden Of Hope Track Listing:
1. Burden Of Hope
2. Lord I Hate Your Day
3. The Deed
4. In The Beginning
6. Space Prophet Dogon
7. The March
8. Broken Ballad
9. White Flag
10. Canyon Hymn
The Neurot reissue of The Burden Of Hope falls alongside GRAILS’ first new album and first new release in six years, Anches En Maat, through Temporary Residence and a tour of Europe in support of the record. Find more info through the band’s social media points. The current lineup is Alex Hall, Emil Amos, Jesse Bates, Ilyas Ahmed, and AE Paterra. Catch the band on tour across Europe for most of October; see all dates HERE.