Grizzly - Small Things EP
Released October 14, 2014
By Charlie Dims
On Blackout, the first song from Grizzly’s new EP Small Things, lead singer Jon Dunne sings, “I am a mess, a selfish wreck, and now I’m alone,” which is a perfect line to summarize this record. While the band has a youthful energy that surrounds their sound, the songs themselves are more remorseful than perhaps their age would indicate. Rather than singing about the thrill of driving through life in the fast lane, Small Things looks at the aftermath that can come when one faces the crash they’ve inevitably been heading toward.
While the first track Blackout helps to establish the narrator in the present (“I was blackout drunk on you, and I can’t keep my voice down/When I’m every shade of blue”), the second track Reverie looks back on a time when things were better with someone that they can fall “apart in the best of ways” with and “make every second count.” At one point, there is a cry from the narrator, asserting, “I won’t be a memory.” Yet it is precisely this fact—that the good times are now nothing more than past memories—that adds bittersweet shades to the piece.
Damage I’ve Done examines the pieces that have been broken, while also attempting to add hope by hinting at redemption. “I’m bringing it down, this house that we built/Just before we could save it/Crumbling under all of this guilt/But baby, I think we can make it,” the narrator pleads. Yet this hope is not without the understanding that getting “away from all the mistakes” made in the past is not something that can be solved just by acknowledging that there have been cracks made to the glass.
1994, while in some ways a rehashing of the superior Reverie, again revels in a time when things were better. Assuming that the story of Small Things is set in 2014, to say that 1994 was the last time that one felt alive paints a deeper picture of the amount of suffering that has been going on.
The final track, Turnover, brings home a major theme in the EP: while the narrator wants to “see the other side”, the narrator doesn’t really say how they will become a new person. This is not a weakness in the writing, but rather a revelation of what it’s like to live in a space where the regrets of what one has become flash too brightly, while the future that they want, as well as the road they must take to get there, remains undefined.