Sounds Like: A group of young 20-somethings having a Dischord-ant nervous breakdown.
For Fans Of: At the Drive-In, Unwound, people who pronounce Ian MacKaye's last name properly
Why You Should Pay Attention: With feedback-saturated guitars, catchy melodies, and the sore-throat yowls of frontman Shehzaad Jiwani, Greys sound like lost transmissions from the underground punk scene that thrived in the years between Nirvana and Limp Bizkit. The group hails from the same Toronto punk scene that gave birth to the similarly anachronistic guitar aggressors in Metz and operatic post-post-hardcore howlers in Fucked Up. Regardless of their pedigree, Greys have packed their debut, If Anything, with their own brand of angsty riffs and fist-banging chants. "That kind of guitar-rock revival that is happening now wasn't happening when we formed," says Jiwani says. "We just wanted to write songs that sound like bands like we like."
They Say: "I was 13 when At the Drive-In put out Relationship of Command," says Jiwani. "It was insane. The heaviest thing I'd ever heard was Korn. So [ATDI] was just otherworldly to me. You see these guys with Afros bouncing about the stage, and you're like, OK, this puts everything I am listening to shame. This is a whole universe of art and culture I'd never heard of before."
If Anything's lead track, "Picciotto," pays tribute to another hero, the guitarist and vocalist of Fugazi. "Guy Picciotto is my favorite frontman and guitar player and, in a lot of things we've played, you can hear me trying to rip them off vocally," Jiwani says. "The song is not specifically about him. But he's the coolest, have you ever seen [the Fugazi movie] Instrument, man? He's the coolest. . . I don't know how I would feel if someone wrote a song about me. I'd think, 'That's cool,' but I'd want to keep a distance from them maybe."
Hear for Yourself: The frazzled, anxious, innately punk-rock commentary on classism, "Use Your Delusion." KORY GROW