The Good Ship Griswolds (Live EP)
The Griswolds‘ unique brand of pop has a certain resilience to it, which isn’t besmirched by the live recordings of 2014’s The Good Ship Griswolds (Live EP). If anything, the energy of the performance is translated and maintained through the recording, resulting in a very impressive EP by any standards. The opening track ‘Beware the Dog’ is immediately familiar to the ear, and easily catches in your head; a song that you will find yourself singing over and over inadvertently. The inclusion of guest artist Jake Stone, from Bluejuice, gives the song a noticeable difference, in that if feels much bigger, louder and more fun.
The EP continues from there to ‘If You Want To Stay’ featuring Pepa Knight, which brings the energy down a little bit but pulls no punches in it’s power. A song seemingly about the melancholy end to a relationship would bring to mind slow, soulful songs in most people, but The Griswolds break down that wall with a delightfully rhythmic rendition of the aforementioned song, which no doubt keeps the crowd dancing. Synth keyboard rings out immediately in minor progressions, heralding the beginning of ‘Down & Out’ featuring Castlecomer, the most serious track on the EP. Though the song isn’t as upbeat as the others, it holds the attention of those listening, and does not fail to impress, with some of the best vocal work of the EP from singer/songwriter Christopher Whitehall. Finishing on a strong note, ‘Right On Track’ featuring Nic McKenzie of Deep Sea Arcade, kicks the proverbial door down and lyrically dazzles. The whole song shimmers with synth keyboard and heavily reverberating backing vocal tracks, giving the whole song a sort of otherworldly feel to it, making this listener forget that this song was recorded live. In terms of sheer sound production, this is a remarkable recording of a song, and sounds studio-recorded from start to finish.
As a whole, The Griswolds’ The Good Ship Griswolds (Live EP) is outstandingly catchy, devastatingly friendly, and an unquestionable example of excellent pop music.