Listening to In-Ear Trip, a debut album by Greek band Given Free Rein, ultimately brings a thought to one’s mind that this trio is one of the most promising bands in the post-punk / alternative rock today. The Athens-based band has a knack for soaring, glowing mixture of genres thanks to passionate musicianship, punk directness, tender, intimate delivery in the vocals and guitar as well as an ability to venture into various emotions, even if sonically not much changes.
“Magnetic Fields” kicks this thing off being sunny but ghostly with floating guitars that just wander, like they and the ethereal vocals are lost in the world creating a wide-eyed outlook. Towards the end the guitars become more direct, making for a liberating sensation.
“Love Pigs” is just an extra level of bombast this time around in the thick, punchy chords, but the overall vibe remains serene. The title track is like having your legs in the shallow end of the ocean, the way the reverb-drenched guitars and tranquil vocals wash over you like you’re in a life-affirming scene in a film and the lavish string bends truly make it cinematic.
“Day in the Dark” on the other hand is more comatose with brooding, sparse notes at the start. However, the song gradually ascends with more direct, pouring playing thrown in and its flourishing sneaks up on you due to how close the whole track is. One minute you’re being put to sleep with aesthetic for an operation and the next you’ve woken up repaired. “Sidekicks” however injects some liveliness with more swift picking and stompy moments combined with the glimmering tone that defines much of In-Ear Trip makes this an indie-rock gem.
In-Ear Trip sees Given Free Rein carrying the beauty and skill that already made them so special across a whole album, naturally making for one of the prettiest records of the year.
1. Magnetic Fields
2. Love Pigs
3. In-Ear Trip
4. The Lost Ghost
5. Day In The Dark
6. Blood Type
8. Athens Spirit
9. Devious Soul
10. Vein Of Light
* Andrew Kouretas – guitars, keys and vocals
* Ntinos Roulos – drums
* Orestis Lazaridis – bass