“Grain’s sound is both polished and raw; a sound that somehow encompasses in its guitar-driven rock echoes of the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and the classic rock radio band of the 70’s.”
Grain’s newest release, Echo in the Air combines the dynamics of straight ahead 70’s rock with an indie edge. From the first track, “Cold Blue Eyes”, with its echoing pedal steel and anthemic climax, to the energetic build of “My Mind’s Awake”, and the post-punk sway of “When we Fight”, Echo in the Air is an exciting mix of rock guitars, powerful vocals, and compelling songwriting.
"Grain's Echo in the Air captures an appealing amalgam of Americana and dark guitar riffs, with echoes of Neil Young and fuzzy early-'90's sounding alternative pop.
Vocalist Carla Simmons sounds raw and utterly in-the-moment, especially on softer songs like "The Best Part". while Wayne Smith's electric guitars ring with Townshendian chords (especially on "My Mind's Awake") and tumble into raggedly glorious solos. Studio musicians and local talents like Harrison Wargo fill out the duo's loose sounds.
Eschewing tight song formulas, Grain prefers languorous sprawl that sounds better with each listen; you'll see the classic-rock build-ups coming a mile away, but these motifs usually lend the material a satisfying wallop."
Aaron Jentzen, Pittsburgh City Paper
“Grain provides a unique sound that’s restrained at times, yet can also brim with power.” Troy Michael for Accent
Straight out of the steel city, Grain’s sound is both exuberant and contemplative; sumptuous guitars, a raw sensibility, and a heavy dose of atmosphere. Grain is Wayne Smith (guitars, keys, pedal steel, etc.) and Carla Simmons (vocals).
According to Simmons, “When we began writing songs for the Echo in the Air, we wanted to forget about formula and let the songs and the feel of the record, as a whole, develop organically.” As a result, the songs move through different stages musically and emotionally, finding resolve in their own time. Some take longer than others, but its all about letting the songs build according to what feels right. If you’re into big rock and roll endings – you’ll love Echo in the Air.
Grain worked with a mix of talented people, including, Pittsburgh musicians, Harrison Wargo and Walter Tolentino. Wargo recorded, mixed, and co-produced three tracks, in addition to playing keys and drums. Tolentino, currently residing in L.A., recorded four tracks, also playing piano and percussion.
Once again, Grain worked with Al Weatherhead (Sparklehorse, Hotel Lights, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker), at Sound of Music Studios, in Richmond VA. Weatherhead mixed five tracks, plus additional recording, and played pedal steel on “The Best Part”. He also recorded and mixed Grain’s previous release, The Bad Years.
And, it wouldn’t be a Grain record without kick-ass drummer, Matt Muckle, currently based in L.A. In addition to playing drums with a multitude of rockers including Buckcherry, Paul Gilbert, and The Who, he’s currently backing actress/musician Kristin Chenoweth, in her band. Although, he’s a much desired drummer in the world of mainstream rock, Grain has been lucky to have him come over to the dark side and lend his talents on all three Grain recordings and numerous live shows.
Grain rocks with two previous releases; GRAIN and THE BAD YEARS, (“Hurling forth a whirlwind of post-punk delight…this release raises the bar.” Smother.net). Grain has played numerous shows in their hometown, as well as, on the road, and has shared the stage with a number of performers including; Cheap Trick, Jewel, Jill Sobule, Pat Benatar, and George Jones.
So, Come on - grab your terrible towel and check out the band
Amplifier Magazine calls, “One of the most exciting bands to watch.”