Idiot Grins are a blues rock outfit from the Bay Area who are known for their powerful live shows featuring a full horn section. The entire live ensemble is gigantic as is the sound they produce in the studio, led by guitarist and producer Randy Strauss. The group have added even more huge sound to their repertoire for their third album, State of Health by bringing in the famed Byrd Sisters vocalists. The sisters add a bombastic background to the Grins’s already supercharged blues sound.
“Get Busy Dying” is the album opener on State of Health and a good example of what audiences are in for on this album. The track is complex but also a fun party song; there are a number of key changes with which the Byrd Sisters seem to effortlessly transition as all the music weaves around main vocalist Evan Eustis’s lyrics. The horns have a couple of features before the end, making the track feel very authentic, but there are a few indie tinges as well. Strauss’s guitar does a few trippy solos underneath the blaring horns which subtly adds to the overall texture of the track, for example. The track is raucous and fun but technically stellar as well.
The indie market is hot for blues fusion at the moment, and while Idiot Grins are more blues than fusion they will definitely strike a fancy with indie blues fans as well as their more classic blues base. The composition and production of the tracks on State of Health, including “Get Busy Dying” is on par with the likes of The White Stripes or The Black Keys, but their soulful sound makes them almost more authentic. They will likely get a big nod from the rock community with State of Health and are definitely a band to keep an eye on.