Release date: July 11, 2017
Vancouver’s answer to Frank Turner, Jesse LeBourdais’ latest album is a stormer. LeBourdais himself calls it “vastly sonically superior to all [his] other albums.” Grief Intensity Friendship is stylistically close to his previous releases, but it benefits from the time LeBourdais and backing band The Long Winter have spent playing and touring together over the last couple of years.
Recorded at Rain City Recorders, the album is 12 angsty songs, ranging from the furious to the wistful. Grief Intensity Friendship opens with ‘Gaines,’ a song that gets as close to Frank Turner’s sound as possible while retaining LeBourdais’ artistic voice.
There isn’t a single track that lets the release down, and as things progress, we are treated to more Turner influences, some Chuck Ragan-esque fury (see ‘Flames’) and a country twang (see ‘It’s Fun!’) here and there.
The high point of the LP comes with the penultimate song, ‘You Were a Rifle.’ It’s a deeply personal song about the death of The Rebel Spell’s Todd Serious. The track is a raw, emotional listen and a prime example of the catharsis music can offer.
Folk-punk has a history of combining the storytelling of folk with the rage of punk, and LeBourdais has epitomised that with Grief Intensity Friendship.
Stream/download Grief Intensity Friendship by Jesse LeBourdais on Bandcamp.