When Grand Vapids emerged on the Athens music scene a mere fistful of years ago the group's blurry tales of emotional intensity drew listeners in like hungry wolves. Then, at some indeterminate point, the wolves took over pushing and pulling in all directions by both soothsayers and false saviors. Coupled with the band's own internal clockwork going awry, everything seemed to slowly limp to the pace of a broken heartbeat. Every new move a false start while each step seemed like forever. The band's debut album, Guarantees, proved a perfect postcard from the time they were fresh and lean and full of nothing but beginner's hope.
The first sessions for the Rake EP and Eat The Shadow LP took place while the band was still bursting out of its starting blocks. After dumping the results of these sessions they tried to re-record the tracks in various locations but nothing was saved. Finally, after regrouping and drilling down into clearer realms of focus, the band joined producer David Barbe (Sugar, Buzz Hungry, Mercyland) and what happened between them is what you've got in your ears now.
And what that is, in no uncertain terms, is the sound of rebirth. But it's not a gentle sense of being born again into grace but a retaking of the reigns with one's teeth full of grit; not a sense of ascendence so much as a clawing upward. This is as true for the rational, earth-bound details of its recording as it is for the emotional-sphere and depth of its songs. From the furious opening chords of "Dissolve" to the get-on-or-get off marching order of "Radiant Black", these new collections are the sound of a band back in control.
"Good music ... a lazing Beck monotone and a wobbly Pixies buzz." - CMJ
“You'd better hold on tight … droney calms explode into powerful bursts, finally bringing destruction to your eardrums.” - Magnet
"Understated gorgeousness ... a droning take on indie rock in the lineage of Galaxie 500, Low, and fellow Georgians Deerhunter ... all somnambulant beauty and shimmering, scraping white noise.” - Stereogum
"The whimsical result of a young band experimenting in the studio ... pulsing drums and echoing vocal effects create a sense of constant movement. Nothing is ever hurried, and each moving part feels designed and purposeful." - Consequence of Sound
"Harris and Bearden’s vocals call to mind that of Sun Kil Moon, cushioned by loud, purring drums, melancholy violin, and dense soundscapes that fold in on each other like waves and explode unhurriedly into the ether.” - Culture Collide
“Vocals like whiskey and a fireplace on a winter night—similar to Father John Misty’s more tender side—and the lush layers of guitar provide a swirling, ambient undercurrent to get lost in.” - Alt Citizen
"McKendrick Bearden’s tales of interpersonal chaos are delivered with David Bazan-like precision, while Austin Harris’ cloudy, layered space-pop vaguely resembles a cross between Bradford Cox’s muscular obfuscations and Lockett Pundt's gentler work as Lotus Plaza. ... Guarantees is frighteningly coherent, a startling debut from an exciting new band.” - Flagpole
"From mid-career Wilco to Elephant 6 band Beulah to Built to Spill to Kurt Vile, if you’ve kept up with guitar music over the last decade or two, you’ll likely find something to enjoy within Grand Vapids’ music." - Flavorwire
"Dark, brooding, ominous ... equal parts '90s indie and outlaw country." - PopMatters
"In the vein of Real Estate, the Atlanta band continue the thread of 21st century, reinvigorated guitar-driven music” - Flood
"A sledgehammer to the gut hit of deconstructed self-agonizing anguish ... strikes you in your most vulnerable spot." - Impose
"Fuzzy, understated ... nostalgic and straightforward at the same time." - Paste