Released in the midst of a global pandemic on April Fool’s Day of all days, ‘this is all we have to offer’ (sic) by Delaware based band Graver’s Lane is a delightful mess of noise, melody and memes.
But what do Graver’s Lane have to offer you, dear reader, as you lay curled in the fetal position, sobbing your way through the quarantine?
It all starts with a lovely introduction as the band is introduced to us one by one and then you are personally thanked for choosing to stream the album, which I think is a lovely touch that more bands should definitely adopt. You don’t hear Kanye West thanking you for choosing to listen to his music do you? No.
He just expects it.
Like a prick.
After the intro, it’s all pretty much a blur. True opening track, ‘peggy is my fucking role model’ blasts off with aplomb before relaxing into a lo-fi jam session, produced in such a way that you’ll think a jazz fusion band is playing very loudly next door. “KEEP IT DOWN YOU JAZZY BASTARDS,” you’ll shout. But they will not keep it down.
Next, we are quietly brought into a Rick and Morty Reference with the continuing noodling of ‘Rick (pickling, funniest shit i’ve ever seen)’ which is great. I mean, who doesn’t like being reminded of the single funniest scene from an adult animation in the past 30 years?
Anyway, I consider the implications of Rick turning himself into a pickle all the way through the 2 minutes and 8 seconds of creative noise-play (don’t Google it). Why did he turn himself into a pickle? Was it to escape from responsibility, or is there some deeper meaning behind his choice of becoming a pickle? Perhaps Rick felt that in becoming an unpopular food choice, he could better distance himself from not only his responsibility, but from society in general? Who knows… and only time… will tell.
There’s some respite next from the free-form noodling of Rick’s pickle adventure, in the form of a beat lain seductively over the next track, ‘I don’t know how to use davinci resolve’ and it’s like coming up for air after having your head submerged in the big noisey bath of the past few minutes. There’s even a cheeky bit of funk thrown in here. Yes. I feel my feet moving to the beat. I’m dancing – no – I’m FLYING!
… and so the album continues in this fashion. Long stretches of spaced-out, trippy noise jams, interspersed with melodic elements (like the bizarre-but-welcome, deep-reggae-dub-jam-thing playing over the noise in the track, ‘OOOOOOOOOOO’) and it’s all very cool, slightly tongue-in-cheek and it has it’s eyebrow raised very high. Graver’s Lane are too cool to care if you’re having a good time or not, but I can’t pretend that I didn’t enjoy listening.
What Graver’s Lane have created here, is a little sonic escape from all the madness going on outside in the year of our Lord Twenty-Twenty and for all its cynicism and self-deprecation, there is a friendliness to this music that makes it great to quietly listen to as you finally have enough time in quarantine to do those creative things you were always talking about doing.
Did you know that the ‘Confused Anime Guy’ meme shown on the cover of this album asking, “Is this Death Grips?” is taken from a Japanese TV series called ‘The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird’? Well you do now.
I hope for their next album, that Graver’s Lane will be a little bit more creative with their meme choice. Perhaps taking this screenshot from the same scene and manipulating it to say, “Are these Led Zeppelin?” or something:
Take a listen to ‘this is all we have to offer’ below and consider buying it. It’s currently Pay-What-You-Want on Bandcamp, so give generously if you can. You can find their Twitter here, their Instagram over here and their Soundcloud all the way over here too.