Greye – “VII” (LP)

Greye’s new eleven-track release VII is a peak moment for this Florida four-piece. They’ve consistently churned out top-shelf material for more than ten years and show no signs of slowing down. VII finds their particular brand of Southern Rock 2.0 in fine fettle thanks to a varied instrumental attack, skillful songwriting, irrepressible energy, and the command presence of lead vocalist Hannah Summer.


The latter invigorates Greye’s material as if her life depended on it. This sort of backed-into-a-corner, wild-eyed interpretation of rock music reminds the potentially dispirited that there are still gifted bands and singers working who fly the flag high for meaningful rock music. The fact that they maintain a dual life as both a Nashville recording unit and a first-division rock band further testifies to their undeniable talent.

There’s proof of that talent in every song. It announces itself from the first with the defiant and take-no-prisoners spirit of “Hold My Own”. You come away from this song feeling many things. One of the predominant emotions is that no one should question Hannah Summer’s character. Her ferocious connection with the song’s lyrics is inspiring. She delivers the goods with even more impassioned ferocity on the second track “Famous Last Words”. This song rates for me as one of the album’s best moments, and front-loading VII with such achievements assures that the band will grab any listener and hold their attention. It’s a real gut punch of a song you’ll want to hear multiple times.

The striding hard rock strut of “Bang Bang” crackles with unwavering confidence. Summer rides the wave of its kickass guitar riff with self-assurance and navigates its spot-on changes with the same. This is one of the unmitigated rock highlights of the release that highlights Greye’s ability to seamlessly meld the past and present into a hard-hitting package. “Underdog” sets a furious pace with its athletic drumming and taut abbreviated melodic riffing that hits its stride early and never relents. Summer does a great job sinking her teeth into the song’s lyrics and spits them out with undeniable conviction.

“777” is another blazing statement of Greye’s rock identity. The drumming provides a standout element in a track rife with such merits and handles each transition with unflappable aplomb. One of the many things about this song and the album that stands out is Greye’s certainty. They sound like they began the recording process with a clear idea of what they wanted VII to say about this stage in their career and never veer off-course. “777” underlines that.

Even the seeming departure of “Hurricane” doesn’t interfere. Summer’s duet with country singer Jason Michael Carroll is one of the album’s finest tracks and should exponentially expand Greye’s profile with the music-buying public. “Everything” is a perfect conclusion for the collection and arguably a defining vocal for Hannah Summer’s career. It’s hard to believe after the ten preceding tracks that she’s got so much left in her tank for this, but “Everything” draws out of her a singing performance that pays tribute to the past ten years and counting.

VII is a thrilling, emotionally draining, and ultimately triumphant musical experience. You won’t go wrong with this one.

Mark Druery