Age Hasn’t Spoiled You will easily go down as one of the most impressive surprises of 2019. Bands rarely complete such a striking sonic shift, let alone doing so while retaining their unique and captivating aspects. For context, the Toronto act were best known for their loud and proud grunge-punk that was more Fugazi than Nirvana. Over their previous two releases, you could hear hints that the band wanted to branch out, but this gorgeous, haunting, and cinematic third album has gone above and beyond. It takes those inherent hints into something magically different and engaging. There are bits of garage rock, psych, and shoegaze, but so very much of Age Hasn’t Spoiled You feels more influenced by hip hop, R&B, and electronic than rock or punk.
That doesn’t mean this is the punk version of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly in so much as Greys have taken a more widescreen approach to how to make rock music in 2019. No two songs are alike, and there’s a spirit of adventure and curiosity that fuels each of the 10 songs (plus one intro). Noise is still at the forefront of what makes Greys tick – see the delightfully trippy “Arc Light”. However, while that song is closest to the band’s past, it also illuminates the new approach. Greys are now all about how to make songs immediately stick into your cranium, whether by haunting, distorted melodies a la “Arc Light” or by the twangy post-punk of “Kill Appeal”. The record has this interesting bell curve where it gets weirder until it becomes comfortable and warm. It’s likely due to the intoxicating nature of the songwriting.
Anyone looking for aggressive post-hardcore will have to look elsewhere, but for those who are willing to take the leap of faith, Greys latest will absolutely win you over. This delightfully odd release cements the Toronto group as one of the most impressive modern alternative acts.