Graystar - Satellites

2005 Singles EP

Graystar’s five singles from last year are collected on one disc here. Opener ‘Freaks’, a new song, is carried on drums that roll like a lazy but irresistible river, replete with mellifluous piano and sweeping sentiments. This is cut from much the same cloth as early ‘Lost Souls’-era Doves; epic all right, but not yet fully realised, in search of something bigger still.

‘Life Support’ and ‘Satellite’ have already been covered here and, while they continue the stargazing vibe with a few more effects bunged on, they’re still on the ground with a telescope rather than in orbit, where you sense they want to be. Graystar only start to flap their wings when they fully indulge their love of MOR. This is no longer such a guilty pleasure and may even be very timely – a source close to the zeitgeist tells me that soft rock is very much the new slashing yourself with broken Stella bottles. (The zeitgeist is currently on holiday with Kate Moss and is unavailable for comment.)

Graystar are no mouldy bandwagon-jumpers, though. ‘Free’ is a certified thing of beauty, a gentle piano ballad with a divine melody that eventually sprawls into territory reminiscent of the coda to ‘Layla’ and even, gadzooks, ‘Nobody Does it Better’. Meanwhile ‘Cry No More’, the oldest song here, is pure Al Stewart, of 70s ‘Year of the Cat’ legend. While that piano is sometimes so darn mellow that you expect them to break into ‘Easy like Sunday Morning’ or ‘Road to Hell’. All the while there’s no hint of cheese, no knowing wink, just honest passion.

Graystar are still feeling their way with some of these songs, but the generous and uplifting ‘Free’ and ‘Cry No More’ are the clearest indicators that they might one day make their own ‘Last Broadcast’.

Written by McLaughlin on

Stuart McLaughlin was a regular write for [the-mag] and was frequently seen in live music venues in search of great new music.
Stuart McLaughlin

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