Pirouettes in shades of grey


By Khanyisile Mlaba

A rise in alternative rock music in South Africa takes shape in The Gangs of Ballet. They are a four piece alternative rock band born and bred on the East Coast.

Close your eyes and let your mind take you to the image of Swan Lake being performed to the sounds of Coldplay in an empty theatre. The melodies speaking directly to you and the contrast of the white and black swans captivating you with their story. This is the epitome of Yes/No/Grey, the debut album from The Gangs of Ballet. The album portrays the exactness of its name – each song finding itself either in pitch black or delicate white, and all of them are laced together with the ideas of lost love and desperate faith in someone else.

The interest in the uncertainties of life is part of what inspired the album, hence the name. This is entirely reflected in the album’s eclectic personality, which channels the melodies of Coldplay, Oasis and One Republic. The album reached number one on the South African iTunes chart within only 12 hours of its preview being released, proving that it was a long awaited desire on many people’s iTunes shopping lists. Their debut EP, “Hello Sweet World” shows an ease in its melody and power in its lyrics, urging you to give life another chance and is a comfort to any lost soul.

A weak point in the album has to be the tenth track, “Isn’t it a shame.” Although it is abstractly beautiful in its composition, it strays too far from the arrangement of the other songs. Agreed, Yes/No/Grey is an eclectic sound, but all the songs in their difference, are uniform, save this one.

Every song on the album was written and recorded by the band, and each song will have you pressing the repeat button, either to get lost in the meaning of the track, or to find yourself singing along to it as you would “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay or “Secrets” by One Republic. To say that the band has a talent, would be an understatement. The beauty of their music lies in how not one element of their songs is hidden in the shadow of the other, everything is equally appreciated – piano, strings and vocals work in such a way that all the elements blend. The album is worth every iTunes download.

Yes/No/Grey is available on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/yes-no-grey/id691117909?ign-mpt=uo%3D4


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