Release Date: Jul 24, 2012
Record label: No Quarter
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The core of Family Band consists of the Brooklyn couple Kim Krans, a visual artist who had never written a song before they formed Family Band, and Jonny Ollsin, a lifelong metal-and-thrash guitarist who eventually tired of his life in metal and thrash. Together, with bassist and lap steel player Scott Hirsch, they make stark, startling music that resembles folk in outline-- muted, pastoral, mostly voice and guitar. But it's not the kind of folk that gathers children around a crackling campfire; frozen, pitilessly bleak, and foreboding, it's the kind that catalogs Biblical miseries, more "ashes, ashes, we all fall down" than "this land is your land.
Make no mistake; NYC duo the Family Band belongs to one thing only and that one thing is the night. So much so I’d expect every trace of Grace & Lies’ very existence to magically evaporate at first sunlight, just like dreams, vampires and Keith Richards. Prepare then to be amazed as Grace‘s nine spirits each fill your home with graveyard mist, creaky porch rocking chairs and silvery moons…then at no extra cost, shazam, come dawn no trace! Well, save for the odd punctured jugular.“There’s a secret here a grown man could not find!”.
When Family Band released their first works back in 2010, one of their EPs was named Cold Songs. That title may seem apt for their brand of industrial goth, but such a label would trivialize the layers found on Grace and Lies. Although the union of visual artist Kim Krans, ex-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin, and bassist/lap steel guitarist Scott Hirsch leads to a dark record, moments of nimble instrumentation accentuate the light as well.
It’s no surprise that the musical pairing of a visual artist and a metal guitarist winds up being as dramatic as Family Band. Vocalist Kim Krans and husband Johnny Ollsin take on the gothier side of dreamy folk on their debut album, Grace & Lies, wrapping shivery shadows of simple, heavy music up with bleak, chilly vocals. Bassist/lap steel guitarist Scott Hirsch fleshes out the pair’s haunted pop, but the icy power of Family Band lies in the empty spaces that pervade the album’s nine songs.