When you set out to write and record as much music with your friends as possible, good things happen.

London’s melodic-punk four piece Grievances may be making plenty of work for themselves with their busy release schedule (the band released a full-length in October and have an EP on the way in the New Year), but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Writing a bunch of music and recording it as much as we can is really the only thing we’ve sat down and said ‘That’s what we wanna do,’” says singer/guitarist, Danny Kidd. “We just wanna write and record a lot.”

Inception

Grievances started in February 2016, when out of boredom Kidd (Wasted Potential, Never Betters, Yeah Bud) and Jesse Fleming started a two-piece in the basement of their shared house. In two months they’d recorded two EPS of clever, homemade punk (Hot Shit, and Something Was Supposed to Happen), each done in their living room in an afternoon with the help of London’s Preston Ell of Satan’s Cove fame.

Clean Living with Grievances. From left to right: Brandyn Walkom, Pat Briggs, Jesse Fleming, Danny Kidd
Clean Living with Grievances. From left to right: Brandyn Walkom, Pat Briggs, Jesse Fleming, Danny Kidd

Somewhere around this time longtime friend Pat Briggs (Foam, Never Betters) saw Kidd and Fleming play a show and wanted in. The trio then added another old pal, guitarist Brandyn Walkom, who demanded to join the band after moving back to London from Halifax.

“I was meant to play with these two [Danny and Jesse],” he says, “so I knew when I was back I would be.”

Late to the party

Fast forward to mid-October 2017, when Grievances released their first full length, Late Bloomers, on London’s Chisel Records. The LP mixes the bratty feel of Grievances’s earlier EPs with the songwriting intuition of mature musicians who’ve played plenty of music together over the years.

Warm, beefy distortion and layered riffs blend with driving drums and vocal harmonies that remind of legendary Canadian pop-punk-grunge pioneers – and prolific recordists in their own right – Eric’s Trip.

Canada has carved out its own fine punk music tradition over the years, and it’s one well-observed on Late Bloomers. Underneath the universal punk trappings of guitars, bass and drums, songs like Sleep More. Eat Better. Drink Less. Smoke Not., Clean Living, and Plum Tuckered sound decidedly and reassuringly Canadian.

Behind the board

Recorded at the Sugar Shack in London with engineer Simon Larochette, Late Bloomers is a bigger, more filled out record than its predecessors. The members of Grievances unanimously describe recording with Larochette as a fantastic experience.

“He’s been a really good friend of mine for a long time,” Kidd says of Larochette. “It’s awesome- it’s super easy. I honestly think every band I’ve ever been in has recorded there now.”

Grievances putting their setlist through its paces during rehearsal. From left to right: Jesse Fleming, Danny Kidd, Brandyn Walkom, Jesse Fleming
Grievances putting their setlist through its paces during rehearsal. From left to right: Jesse Fleming, Danny Kidd, Brandyn Walkom, Jesse Fleming

Watching Grievances rehearse ahead of their Call the Office show with Little Junior and Single Mothers there is an obvious camaraderie and trust between members.

They’re self aware, but thoughtful in a way that does them credit. Asked what’s next, the band see plenty on the horizon, and no need to rush into any of it.

Next up…

In the immediate future is a split EP with Never Betters, due out on Grooves Records in earlier 2018. Writing and pre-production for another 2018 release is also underway. Beyond that, the band have no concrete plans to tour beyond saying yes to the right shows as they come along.

“I’m not going out of my way to have my van break down,” says Jesse Fleming.”

It’s a decisive statement that emphasizes the the balance of the band’s more freewheeling approach. “Honestly, we’re just winging it,” Danny Kidd continues. “It’s a no pressure situation. The pressure of touring ruins the creativity.”

Feature photo by Allan Lewis

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