Post-punk is often regarded as a genre that has a lot of similar sounding bands, especially when it comes to vocals. Greece’s Given Free Rein do play to the post-punk sound pretty tightly but on their debut album In-Ear Trip they also take the time to raise their music beyond the confines of that sound. How far they go beyond those confines is subjective but they do find something for everyone.
The album opens on the epic sprawl of “Magnetic Fields,” which cuts from a big beginning to fast-paced verse filled with light guitar flourishes that at times sound so flowing. Vocals of Andrew Kouretas, who also handles guitar, piano and keyboards, are a huge addition to the song’s energy and anthem-feeling vibe. “Love Pigs” is more straightforward in terms of being a classic punk rock tune.
“In-Ear Trip” has a much more mysterious opening than the earlier tracks thanks to a great echoing atmospheric line at the beginning. The riffs that drive “The Lost Ghost” give it an opening well above many on the record.
In-Ear Trip may not be a game-changer but it gives Given Free Rein ground to stand on and a great example of their sound and talent. GFR play to their genre well while trying to explore other ideas within that sound.