[Ball of Wax 31, as previously announced, will feature 15 local songwriters and bands all covering each other’s songs. Between now and the release show on March 9th, I will share the originals with you to provide a little background, and perhaps a deeper appreciation of the CD and show. (Which is March 9th. Did I mention that? March 9th. Columbia City Theater.) We’re posting the cover versions on Bandcamp, where you can pre-order the CD now.]
The Music of Grayface could be the most enigmatic member of the larger Ball of Wax universe. First appearing on Ball of Wax Volume 5, the band (revolving around singer/songwriter Christopher Hydinger) has made just a smattering contributions in the subsequent years and volumes. The Music of Grayface has a small online presence and doesn’t seem to have a huge released body of work – their Soundcloud page has just 3 songs (including an ambient, barely recognizable cover of “Lean on Me”). One of those 3 songs is “Averybrieftale,” which, like the rest of their songs that I’ve heard, is stark, often beautiful, occasionally unsettling and fiercely original. To force a crappy analogy, it sounds like Jeff Buckley fronting late-period Talk Talk (see, I told you it would be crappy). Robb Benson’s cover of “Averybrieftale” fills in the spaces with guitar, bass and drums, transforming the meditation into a sweeping jaunt.