On its debut LP, the Los Angeles-based quintet Grizfolk comes out swinging, as if the fist-raised, festival-ready rock anthem was the last viable formula music had left. But the end result is a dozen tracks of unrelenting normalcy, a pastiche of what has been popular on alternative radio in recent years. Grizfolk doubles down on choral oh-oh's, soothing Mumfordian acoustics and pummeling drum beats that will have listeners imagining Dragons. As if the band was afraid to leave any modern-rock trends unchecked, "Bob Marley" features a whistled hook and a chorus proclaiming that the namesake artist is guiding Grizfolk down the highway. The act's best moment is when it summons the Springsteen-esque country of Eric Church on the weatherbeaten "Bounty on My Head." Singer Adam Roth has a gravelly timbre that fits the topic perfectly, making a shape-shifting band sound like it had finally found its home, even if just for a song.
This story originally appeared in the Jan. 23 issue of Billboard.