--Note: This piece was originally meant to run in Floated Magazine. It didn't.--
>> grandson has been around since 2016, but he’s only dropped singles for the past two years. With “a modern tragedy vol. 1”. he’s finally getting into the EP game.

The Good:
“a modern tragedy vol. 1” is, if nothing else, dramatic. There are points where the beat drops, the lyrics get angrier, and the overall shift tries to feel big. Not “musical odyssey of grandiose scale” kind of big, mind you. More of a “CW original series mid-season finale” kind of big. It really tries to give a sense of being larger than life, and for a few moments it almost succeeds.

The Bad:
If grandson has ever had an original thought, it’s not on this EP. “a modern tragedy vol. 1” is a musical Frankenstein’s monster, with other artists’ verses and choruses haphazardly stitched together to horrifying ends. It sounds so similar to established artists that it ends up sounding less like an homage and more like an early demo - it’s the same sound you’re used to, only worse.
Lyrically, grandson seems to draw his inspiration from Banksy: vague anti-establishment phrases lumped together with the hope that they’ll form one coherent thought. On a couple of tracks, they almost do. In each song, grandson seems content just saying words to fill time rather than actually trying to convey any kind of emotion. It goes for depth, for political impact, but ends up with “the status quo is bad” on repeat.

Picture Jack White covering Twenty One Pilots. Now imagine that, for the vocals, he’s doing a shockingly mediocre K. Flay impression. If you like the sound of that, this is the EP for you. With chord progressions ripped straight from the Billboard charts and lyrics lifted directly from my ninth-grade political blog, “a modern tragedy vol. 1” sounds like a toddler talking on a fake cell phone: bits and pieces of things you’ve heard before, rearranged to make as little sense as possible. 1/5 <<

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