A debut solo EP is a tricky thing to get down to a T, especially when you’ve already been part of an alt-rock trio. Under the alias of Grumble Bee, Jack Bennett (formerly of PaperPlane) has done exactly that though with his new EP ‘Disconnect’ with the helping hand of producer Kris Crummett. Reminiscent of early solo gruff but textured Jonny Craig (which Crummett also produced) it is clear to see how possible influences may have weaved their way into the 5 track EP.
You’re launched into the warped, eclectic ‘Sky Writer’ which you immediately want to listen to again (which I did, quite a few times). Following this is the haunting layered vocals and in your face synthy backing of ‘Francium’. The impassioned ’H.C.A.D.C’ stands out with the mixing of gentler vocals at the start of the song which carries a tremolo build up to a surprising djent-esque breakdown reminiscent of the unmistakeable Tesseract.
Another standout, the penultimate ‘Lapwing’ reels you in immediately with beautifully gruff, raspy vocals, demonstrating his abilities and variations. Heavier moments of percussion, bass and poignant lyricism are also notable. ‘Soft Filter, Black & White Picture’ may sound like an in-depth debate on Instagram filters but proves to be so much more. This track arguably puts the icing on the cake of this EP and the shyly-strummed guitar introduces lyrics that will make even the coldest of hearts ache. Later kicking into the usual hard hitting drums and well harmonized, layered vocals, this final track ends the EP beautifully but far, far too soon.
With his first solo release, Bennett has pulled out all the stops with this incredibly polished and meticulous EP. Demonstrating his trio of vocal, lyrical and instrumental abilities, this record will flip the lid and predictably launch a strong following for Grumble Bee. Nailed it.
’Disconnect’ by Grumble Bee is out now.
Words by Phoebe Messenger @kangaezu_)