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Album Review: Grass Is Green – Vacation Vinny

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“It’s great to be alone,” Grass is Green frontman Andy Chervenak mumbles with exhausted relief at the outset of “Spore”. The opening line from the third track of the Boston band’s latest full-length, Vacation Vinny, would be easy enough to throw away if it didn’t so acutely sum up the band’s overarching philosophy. For Grass is Green, a band that prides itself on toiling away at their own distinct brand of jerky, lo-fi post-punk, it is good to be alone. With a sound about as subtle as sandpaper, they’re pretty content at kicking dirt on the rest of the world from their carved out corner of the musical sandbox.

But, while Grass Is Green aren’t much interested in becoming your favorite band, Vacation Vinny suggests that they could be, at least for a certain segment of fans curious as to what would happen if Stephen Malkmus’ jagged guitar lines met the experimental noise punk of U.S. Maple. If you’re up for the challenge, Vacation Vinny‘s ten glaring post-punk oddities will satisfy an itch that a lot of other bands wouldn’t even bother trying to scratch.

“Can’t believe how good it feels/ I feel so alive,” Chervenak bellows on album opener “Sammy So-Sick”. The rest of the record builds upon that mood with hefty cuts of anxious guitar sprawl, mindfucking time signatures, and impenetrable stream of consciousness lyrics. The heavy lifting that comes with Vacation Vinny is in itself part of the reward. Three to four-minute scrapheaps like “Scattering Ram” and shorter, messier diversions like “Tambo” and “I’m From Dot Too” are more than just likable for their crankiness; they build your endurance and test your fortitude. A vacation? Not in the traditional sense. But Grass Is Green is no doubt following a personal musical trip, avoiding the path of least resistance every step of the way.

Essential Tracks: “Sammy So-Sick”, “Scattering Ram”

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