H. Grimace are a London-based four-piece, with roots in places as far afield as Yorkshire and Melbourne; describing themselves as ‘post punk’, they may actually fit more into a rapidly emerging group of disparate DIY acts best described as post-post-punk. Following on from 2015’s ‘I Am Material’ cassette release and last year’s Royal Hush EP, H. Grimace are readying themselves for this year’s release of their debut album.
Combining echoey vocals and clashing guitars with overlapping melodies and precision percussion in a sound that is part-surf, part-shoegaze, first single ‘Land/Body’ promises an album that will be a whirlwind mix of noise and dream.
Where the sound of H.Grimace’s earlier material veers more towards a gloomy, if effective, repetitive sound, ‘Land/Body’ sees the group honing and unfolding their music into something more compelling and emotionally resonant. With lyrics dealing with the possible collapse of nature in the face of uniformity, the song – and its opening guitar hook in particular – evoke REM’s ‘Cuyahoga’, but with all of its pop-folk sensibility drained out and, gradually, replaced with the spiky, clashing of a Goo-era Sonic Youth chorus.
It’s a stirring, if grim, taste of an album that promises much: ‘Land/Body’ is the ideal introduction to a band whose ideas are as big as their sound.
Self Architect, the debut album from H. Grimace, is out 7 April.