The southern rock genre has been coming back in a really big way this year, and in Greye’s new single “Down Not Out,” we learn why in a very big way. By keeping things centered on a smart formula in “Down Not Out,” a band like Greye can direct all of our attention towards the raging adrenaline in their riffs and not any external filler that would have just watered down their tonality. The straightforward hard rock dynamic they enjoy is on full display for us to enjoy in this latest release, which takes a classic combination of melody and southern-inspired metallic might and brings it into the future without muddling the group’s sound into something distorted, overly experimental and too freewheeling for us to connect with.
Of all the mechanisms in “Down Not Out,” the guitar parts are the only element that feels too enormous to be contended with here. The six-string delivers a really strong harmony with the vocal, but I think that Greye could have afforded to go with less filtration in the big picture of things here. They’ve already got a fiery tone to their riffing in this song, and if it were presented as an uncut force to be reckoned with, I honestly think that the track would have been more appealing to mainstream rock buffs as much as it is the indie crowd looking for something both consistent and conversant. In either case, you can’t match this destructive tone – or the attitude it’s presented with – when you’re looking around this scene at the moment.
I’ve always been a harder critic to please when it comes to crossovers, but this track is done right. The substance of the melodic framework is highlighted brilliantly with haunting grooves that make the material jump right out of the speakers and stoke a reaction out of anyone listening. Not unlike some of the more elaborately constructed rock n’ roll crossovers I’ve been listening to this year, there’s a sense of rebellion befalling every beat, but we’re never listening to something that sounds like it was made solely to bend the rules.
Muscular and melodic the same, Greye’s “Down Not Out” is a fine studio cut from a band that knows who they want to be, and most importantly, what kind of sound they want to call their own. The swagger they’ve got in this track is perfect, and through its presence, I think Greye will have plenty of good stuff left in the tank to share with us. This is a new lineup for the band, but they seem to have a cohesiveness that I would expect out of a group that has gathered a lot of miles on the tour odometer through the years. There is no shortage of interesting indie rock bands making great music at the moment, but I think any fan who likes dependable southern-style rock should give this song and the discography that it’s joined this September a closer look when possible.