REVIEW: The Grizzled Mighty, “Thick Hand Grip”

The Grizzled Mighty

Portland, 1991.

You step off the bus that took you from your waitressing job in downtown Seattle into your cool, rebellious older sister’s arms.  After she left home at 17, you haven’t managed to see her much, but she insisted you come down to Portland this weekend to see her friend’s band play.  She gives you a welcoming hug, smelling of dust and stale beer, and excitedly grabs your bag before pulling you along to her old, beat up, faded green Volvo Station Wagon, tearing off into traffic like a bat out of hell.  She explains that the show you both are going to is in an old warehouse on the outskirts of town, and that you have to haul ass if you want to get there in time.

Pulling up to the venue with a six-pack of PBR and throw on your favorite red flannel overshirt before making your way inside. Stepping into the warehouse, your senses are immediately overwhelmed with the scent of cigarette smoke with a hint of whiskey, and you somehow manage to wiggle your way through the crowd to just the right of the stage, where your sister introduces you to the band.  You look into the eyes of Ryan Granger, a scraggly-looking (yet, still mysteriously attractive) fellow with a friendly smile that looks suspiciously like an angsty lumberjack, and his bandmate, Whitney Petty, an stunning brunette who perfectly channels the “cheerleader gone bad” look with her shit-kicker boots and kiss-my-ass attitude. They say nothing, only giving you a nod before taking the stage in silence.

The second the duo takes the stage, silence falls over the room, the normally-rowdy crowd tense with anticipation.  Ryan forgoes any introduction and rips into their first track, “Midnight Sun,” a powerful, rhythm-heavy blues-rock piece that makes the crowd bang their heads in unison. “Midnight Sun” is followed by “Stuck In My Head,” a more upbeat, danceable track that you already feel yourself singing days from now.  The Grizzled Mighty keep their listeners attention with the melodic “Mona Lisa,” before launching into “Smooth,” a guitar-heavy song with guitar solos that stun the crowd, and drumming that makes you wonder how her kit is still standing. Ryan and Whitney finish off their short set with the memorable, riff-heavy track, “Get Your Way,” which solidifies the choice that you’ve been thinking about all night:

You’re moving to Portland.

The Grizzled Mighty Thick Hand Grip

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