If you like metal, you’re in some serious luck. If you like metal, and you don’t mind looking at the occasional set of a lead singer’s stretched testicles, you’ve practically stumbled into nirvana.
Originally a New York band, Greyscale says that they came to Reno to get away from the 14.8 million other bands trying to make it back in the big city. It’s evidently also a little cheaper to get an apartment here, as well as to pay for practice space.
They did, however, bring one very important thing with them from the Big Apple, and it wasn’t a cheesecake from Junior’s—they brought some pretty heavy industry connections.
Because of these and their not inconsiderable talent, Greyscale alrwady has an impressive resumé of touring, including playing the Warped Tour several times. Also, because of their slick big-city connections, they get good, polished production.
Speaking of polished, 32-year-old lead singer Kristian Raimo is an exhibitionist who likes putting his bare scrotum on shiny things: million dollar soundboards and guest books most of all.
“I could stretch it [the scrotum] out over the corner of the guest book when someone was about to sign in,” Raimo says. “And they’d think it was gum, until they screamed.”
Band founder, 29-year-old Jon Middleman, plays guitar and sings backup vocals. Middleman also claims he can boil holy water with mere mental power.
Also playing guitar, the heavily tattooed and aggressively pierced Larry Coleman, who first joined the band eight years ago as a 17-year-old alcoholic/roadie.
Rounding out the lineup, 25-year-old Kevin Maxwell plays drums and dreams of one day driving a Ferrari into Ben Affleck’s swimming pool.
Andrew Luddy, 25-year-old guitar player, is notorious for missing interviews for band profiles.
Greyscale’s latest record, Discord for the Dead Kid, delivers nice variety around a buzzsaw guitar theme. The angry rhythm guitar is so much a unifying theme in most of Greyscale’s music, you end up getting used to it and ignoring it after the first couple seconds on each track.
The vocals range from hardcore screamo to falsetto to a very good likeness of the late Sublime singer, Bradley Nowell.
While the last two styles wouldn’t seem to fit well with metal, it works. The lead guitar is minimal but very good, as are the drums. Probably the best compliment one can pay Greyscale is that they don’t sound like anybody else.
The first track, “Now You Wonder,” sets the tone for the screamo stuff. It’s got a falsetto over pissed-off guitar into a screaming thing going on. I usually don’t like screamo, but this is good for the genre.
However, the really good stuff is where Raimo restricts himself to growling instead of screaming.
“Weep” sounds positively epic with its menacing, flowing riffs and occasional thrashiness. Similarly good are “Searching for Substance” and “Pace.” The closest thing to a misfire in the non-screaming material is probably “Get At,” which is a bit choppy and features lyrics Dr. Phil would approve of, but even that comes with a good hook that keeps the song from becoming a dreaded “deal-breaker.”
Greyscale, which recently played a show for Toys for Tots at Nightmare Studios, plans to go on another tour after a couple local gigs.
Greyscale gives Reno a legit, worthy metal act, with a little sideshow exhibitionism.