Realation’s latest single Isabella is a slow burn: the “concept grunge” band has been around long enough not to have to go straight for the jugular – their songwriting has matured enough to let things build piece by piece.
A song about a young woman whose very vulnerability pushes her into playing twisted games with others, singer Vincent Lane and band competently lay out a classic song structure within which to work their magic, pulling the listener into the quietly enraged world of the girl in the title.
“Combining acid observations and a narrator’s cool, Lane toys with our fading optimism”
Combining acid observations and a narrator’s cool, Lane toys with our fading optimism while we allow Realation to keep our hopes clamped down, knowing that there’s really not going to be any happy ending in this number that keeps its bitter tang all the way until the abundance of rage, that is so obviously held in check, is finally let go.
The song made me realise that there’s just not enough good grunge bands around these days: If the entire decade of the 80s can come back and put its feet up like it’s not going anywhere, isn’t it about time we let such a good goddamned genre back into our hearts?
“…keeps its bitter tang all the way until the abundance of rage, that is so obviously held in check, is finally let go”
As the song steadily unspools I’m struck again by the band’s musicianship, the whole thing inflected with a confident interplay between the three band members. There’s not enough of that around these days, and there’s something that comes only from the trust that’s built up over years of jamming together. I hope we hear more from Realation, and to be honest, I’m pretty sure we will.