Every time I see the word Greevace - as in the heavy Charlotte rock trio - I want to pronounce it like it’s a location in Italy with a subtle roll to the ‘r’, stressing the ‘va’ in the same way Giada DeLaurentis lapses into her native accent when layering “mozz-a-rel-la” on a dish (phonetically gre-va-chi). I realize this is ridiculous - though it may be hereditary. My father pronounced the first cell phone company in our hometown, CellularOne, as if it were a dish of cellular(maca)roni. But listening to the band’s first four-song release “The Eye Sees All” the idea that guitarist Andy Cauble is sometimes channeling the intricate picking of one of the romantic language cultures when not trading in distorted, choppy riffs isn’t that far off.
The introduction of songs like “Cabal” and “The Onus is On Us” aren’t directly flamenco and the clean-tone is brief, but it adds a different layer that separates the group from a standard riff-rock unit. In fact there’s a section of “The Onus” before the haunting lyrics kick in where the guitar and bass enter into fluttering finger work that could be considered metal’s version of gypsy jazz. That’s where the European (and maybe a little Middle Eastern) reference is strongest. But that element and the shifting, varied instrumental sections give these songs weight and depth.
That’s not to say that Greevace is incorporating a weird, disparate mesh of styles. All the elements fit together. For the most part it’s rooted in heavy riffs and classic metal like Anthrax and Prong (they get a lot of Tool comparisons, but I hear Greevace's roots dating back earlier). Chris Cauble alternates between attacking and haunting vocals and lyrics spat in a confrontational style that remind me of Suicidal Tendencies if Mike Muir had done more singing and less talking and an intentionally creepier James Hetfield. The tracks shift from driving heaviness to more introspective instrumental parts that feature subtle guitar harmonies. The dichotomy keeps things interesting and provides that aforementioned depth.
Greevace features Charlotte music veterans from heavy bands that were a bit left of straight punk or metal - Black Lagoon and Drat. The trio (pictured, the Cauble brothers and drummer Thomas Whitley) plays Tremont Music Hall with Karma To Burn (who are from my native West Virginia, by the way - home of Cellularone) and Watch Husky Burn (formerly Husky) Saturday, December 1. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $8 to $10. Tickets are available via www.ticketfly.com.
Greevace is already working on its second release at Sioux Sioux Studios. I’m anxious to hear where the next one takes them. You can hear all the tracks from “The Eyes Sees All” here.