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Grails at La Maroquinerie, Paris 2009
|Origin||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Genres||Instrumental rock, post-rock, psychedelic rock|
|Labels||Neurot, Robotic Empire, Aurora Borealis, Southern, Temporary Residence, Important Records|
|Associated acts||Holy Sons, OM, Zak Riles, Watter|
Grails is an American instrumental experimental rock band. Based in Portland, Oregon, the group have released seven studio albums, on labels including Southern and Temporary Residence, and have toured across North America and Europe.
Grails was formed under the name "Laurel Canyon" in 1999 by guitarist Alex Hall, drummer Emil Amos (also of Holy Sons and Om) and second guitarist Paul Spitz. They garnered positive reactions following their first show, played on a whim. Portland musicians Timothy Horner (violin) and Bill Slater (piano/bass) later joined the group to record their first EP.
The band then released two self-financed EPs in 2000 and 2001. Paul Spitz left the US to travel in Turkey and Zak Riles joined as guitarist, often playing more of an acoustic role. In 2002 Hall sent a promotion CD to Neurot Recordings who were convinced of the band's potential.
In 2003, just before the release of their first full-length album, the band changed its name to Grails. They adopted a louder, more aggressive style, often switching instruments with each member writing songs that saw them branching out to increasingly disparate styles.
By the time the Black Tar Prophecies series was released Timothy Horner left and the band carried on with only 4 players. The group often picks up an extra musician for tours, allowing Amos to switch between guitar and drums and expanding the live instrumentation. Recently, Randall Dunn and Dave Abramson have joined the group live.
In their early years, Grails only toured Europe but have switched to focusing on the East Coast of the United States in the last few years. Despite living in Portland, the band rarely plays live shows in their hometown.
A comprehensive DVD was released on April 7, 2009, called Acid Rain summing up their most productive period. In 2010, the band has re-issued three releases, including versions of their first two albums remastered by Carl Saff, as well as a vinyl issue of Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2, & 3 on Important Records. Also released on Important as a vinyl-only EP was Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 4.
The band released their album, Deep Politics, on March 8, 2011 under the label Temporary Residence Limited.
The various members stay busy with several different projects. Hall has played guitar with Steve Von Till of Neurosis in Von Till's project Harvestman, Amos has played drums with Jandek, produced for Yellow Swans. Hall & Amos have their own genre-blurring duo, Lilacs & Champagne, who have released music on the Mexican Summer label.
- The Burden of Hope (2003)
- Redlight (2004)
- Interpretations Of Three Psychedelic Rock Songs From Around The World (2005)
- Burning Off Impurities (2007)
- Black Tar Prophecies Vol's 1, 2, & 3 (2007)
- Take Refuge in Clean Living (2008)
- Doomsdayer's Holiday (2008)
- Deep Politics (2011)
- Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5, & 6 (2013)
- Chalice Hymnal (2017)
- Gavrilovska, Ana. "Grails fucks with notions of what a rock band should be". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
- "N E U R O T - R E C O R D I N G S". Neurotrecordings.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- Mike Reid. "Grails announce "Chalice Hymnal," their first studio album in six years | Music News". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- Paul Simpson (2017-02-17). "Chalice Hymnal - Grails | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Yellow Swans". Jyrk.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Grails - Chalice Hymnal | Albums | musicOMH". musicOMH. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
- "Lilacs & Champagne: Lilacs & Champagne Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
- "Grails - Musicbrainz". Musicbrainz. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
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