Often times when you crack open a record and your first thought is “Oh, fuck this band sounds like this other band I love,” you’re typically off to a solid start and can coast from there. Other times some bands find a way to squander that and thus here we are. Now, before you go closing this out because you think I’ve gone chugging the haterade again, hear me out. Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two (you won’t, but fuck it). Tiersman out of Adelaide, South Australia is the name, post hardcore is the game, and Good Grief is the record because I’m done being creative.
These South Australian leopards dabble in the kind of hardcore most often related to bands like Cancer Bats or early Gallows while subsequently also sporting a very odd and slightly doomish quality not commonly found with post hardcore bands. Yes, things can get sludgy, but not necessarily to full Neurosis levels only without the subtle intellectual value (see “Bobby Pin” for example). Their sound is simple yet courageous at times. Sludgy but more vibrant than your garden variety doom band while in the same stroke groovy but more nonsensical than your garden variety hardcore band. All in all, they’re fun and unique while simultaneously being a little overly exaggerative and outright confusing at times.
Good Grief comes in with a solid punch in the face of pure familiarity for this particularly tenured Cancer Bats fan whom you can imagine is pointing two thumbs at himself while you read this you imagery twat, while still setting themselves apart in execution of their craft in the form of open track “On To Better Things.”
These feelings unfortunately fade and are replaced with questions of mental stability and feelings of “what the fuck are you on about here, bud?” with tracks like “Wake Up Call” and “Jono The Friendly Toaster.” There’s weird and artsy, then there’s just weird with plenty of dancing room in between. I’m all for the strange and unusual, but if we’re going to have the conversation of personal preference, I definitely don’t see myself jamming to a track about becoming a sentient toaster ad nauseum, especially when the idea of sensical structuring and digestible delivery are left by the wayside. Late stage tune “EX-EXPATS” make a strong point towards my case here at about one minute and fourteen seconds deep wherein easily the most uncomfortable drum solo takes place that I’ve ever had to try and dissect. I’m not saying these guys are shite, but I am in fact saying that I truly and honestly don’t get it.
I’ll never question someone’s artistic value and the engineering involved definitely has it’s part of the conversation here in the sense that this record displays the time and dollars produced to create something very listenable. However, all efforts at the board seem unfortunately shadowed out by incredibly Avant Garde attempts at a faithfully interesting and comfortable combination of styles. If you want to be fucking weird, I’m here for it, just like I’m here for it if you want sound like one of my favourite bands. Suffice it to say however, sometimes there’s just too much of one or the other to chew and in the case of Good Grief, the whiplash of concepts and oddities involved most definitely had me saying Good fucking Grief.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy