Ash Grunwald’s latest record is a haphazard but deeply intriguing combination of various genres, beats and rhythms that are coupled with more potent lyricism than Grunwald usually indulges in, setting the record apart from his previous releases.
The album opens with The Demon In Me which, with its heavy blues guitar and drum lines, strong vocals and flawless production, is a powerful opener. The pace quickens immediately with Shake, whose punctuated guitars and edgier vocal tone introduce the vast range of Grunwald’s musical and vocal abilities. The tone of the album changes once again with the title track, Trouble’s Door. This song features much deeper, less refined guitar sounds and raw vocals that give it an altogether darker feel. This change of tone is intriguing and the combination of powerful lyricism, strong vocal tones and heavy guitars make this track one of the album’s standouts. This more sinister musical feel is continued in 180, but here is paired with more upbeat, catchy rhythms and heavier electronics later in the track. Vocally, the standout track is Ramblin’ Man, which properly showcases Grunwald’s wide vocal range over the top of slow, understated instrumental lines.
The closing tracks of the album, however, are its weakest. Outta Time feels somewhat less complex than the rest of the record and its unsteady melody and obscure vocals make it far less engaging. Similarly, the closing track, What You Had, is less catchy than the rest of the songs, largely because the melody and vocals seem an uncomfortable fit. While the closing moments are something of a disappointment, the record as a whole is incredibly satisfying for all of its diversity and intrigue as well as its musical and lyrical prowess.
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