Artist: Grey Daze
Release Date: June 26th 2020
Reviewer: Rod Strachan
Long before the worldwide adulations of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington fronted Grey Daze. A band that existed from 1993 to 1998 and released two albums. Following the break-up all traces of the band were virtually wiped clean. Grey Daze drummer and project leader Sean Dowdell states that it was a competing project at the time the record company did not want.
Fast forward to 2016 and talk of reunions shows and a re-tooling of the music they had already produced. This was not to be as within a year the music world was in mourning with the sudden and tragic passing of Chester.
After months of picking up the pieces, Sean continued the quest to resurrect the Grey Daze legacy. In 2020 we have the finished product which comprises eleven tracks complied from the two albums Wake Me (1994) and No Sun Today (1997).
“Sickness” is the lead off track and second single released from the release know as “Amends”. A solid mid-tempo rocking track with some additional riff work from Helmets’ Paige Hamilton. An instant classic with some dark and haunting lyrics, a song that draws you in and never lets you go. Third single and track two “Sometimes” is a song of torment and hope all rolled into one’s life. The lyrical content for most will overshadow the actual music here. “Maybe things will get better” is a perfect fit for the world as we know it today.
“What’s In The Eye” was the original lead off single for the album. The song sweeps in with mellowing verses and up-tempo chorus. Chester’s vocals for this song were recorded when he was 17 in what can only be described as simply remarkable!
The album then takes a shift of gears into a mellifluous tone for the next two tracks. “The Sydndrome” and the exquisite piano layered “In Time” show the band’s coming of age. Both are beautifully constructed creations from the very heart of the band. Instant classics with me after just one initial listen!
“Just Like Heroin” features an incredible bass line from Mace Beyers which lumbers this song along, full of excess and demise. Its gritty journey of just under three and a half minutes is a soulful look into the world of how one’s life can spiral out of control and simply fade away. Haunting right to the end! “B12” powers into the speakers next and has been touted as a song in the same vein as Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”. This song touches on much more deep and meaningful social subjects than the comparative predecessor.
Fourth single “Soul Song” features an accompanying video directed by Chester’s son Jamie. This track epitomizes the incredible connection Chester Bennington had from putting pen to paper, then vocalising words in only a way he could. Crunchy guitar riffs over soothing guitar riffs from Cristin Davis make this track…simply perfect!
“Morei Sky” first recorded in 1994 for the Wake Me album is a stark reminder of just how fragile life can be for some. The grey line between living and losing the battle against your inner demons that sometimes plague someone’s very existence. The soul stirring surviving original vocals give us just a glimpse of the almost completely reconstructed track.
The tempo rises for the penultimate track “She Shines”. A song well worthy of it’s place on the album with brilliantly written hooks and lyrics. The final track “Shouting Out” is an exemplary end to the record. Heart filled backing vocals from Laura Pergolizzi add warmth to a track that should see heavy radio rotation if ever given the chance. The very end features a voice mail from Chester to Sean. Thus making not only the song but the album and project feel complete and whole.
In all the album is every bit as brilliant as it was supposed to be. The agonising hours spent by the band in getting this project complete is a true test of their love of music and that of the fans. This is a project everyone can cherish and be proud of to the end of time!
Special Thanks to Grey Daze
Chester Bennington (1976 – 2017)
Bobby Benish (1968 – 2004)
Thank you all for the music!