GREBER – Bummed Out At The Cemetery
January 30, 2018, a year ago
For their third full-length, Cemetery Preston, Ontario duo (yeah, let's get it out of the way here: no guitar) Greber took their experimental sludge/grind/hardcore and, while not sacrificing any heaviness whatsoever, managed to craft something a bit different this time around. No one's going to be jarred or alarmed, but underneath the grinding, clashing chaos (think Unsane meets Keelhaul), there's a finer attention to song, to structure, to crafting music that doesn't just bash and smash, it actually, in some bastardized way, resembles music.
“We really put it under the knife and started out with a large mass of songs that we weeded through to get the best out of this album,” says bassist/vocalist Marc Bourgon (who also spends time in similarly mind-bending grinders Fuck the Facts). “Our older material was written with less of a live setting in mind. This time around we took a great deal of time working the songs out in the jam space to make sure they would translate as well live as they would as a piece of recorded music. Steve [Vargas, drums, also of The Great Sabatini] and I have been playing together for over a decade and a half, and we find that we’re still figuring each other out and learning to play off each other in better and more interesting ways. When we wrote [2010's] Hometown Heroin it was noodly as all hell and none of it really had much impact when we would try and do it at a show. I feel that with Cemetery Preston we would be able to do every song in a loud environment and not have it sound like total shit.”
That curious album title is a reference to a dream Bourgon had. He says the name “Cemetery Preston” started out as the working title for opening track “Backhanded Interest” but it gave the songs on the album a certain feel, so the album name it became. Bourgon describes it as a “crusty snapshot of how day-to-day life is a forecasting of something much darker and how it all leads to some sad and inevitable loss.”
“Years ago, I had a dream where I was walking around Preston, which is a borough of Cambridge where Steve and I reside,” he continues. “It seemed that everything had the colour sucked out of it and there were tombstones scattered in the street. For some reason the visual stuck with me, most likely because I rarely ever remember my dreams. This sort of living purgatory was something I wanted to explore and toy with in different ways.”
The album ends with the great slow-burner “The Closer We Got”; while Bourgon acknowledges that ending an album with a slow-and-low epic may not be a shocking move, it was undeniable that this song had to be the closer, and the band knew early on it was going to end Cemetery Preston.
“We pretty much knew it as soon as we finished writing it. Although it’s a touch cliche to have the big, open dragger at the end of the album or set, it just felt right,” he says. “It’s a pretty desperate narrative and if we’ve been feeling good in the set up until then, it never fails to bum us out in the end.”