Jamie T (Jamie Alexander Treays) is a musician who people struggle to fit into one genre of music, with songs varying from hip-hop to alternative/indie to rock. Everyone stopped trying to categorise him, as he seemed to disappear for five years after his album, Kings and Queens. Treays then made a sudden return with the release of a gloomy, indie rock album, Carry On The Grudge. The album consists of 12 tracks, narrating extracts of Treays’ experiences and thoughts.
Treays opened the album with “Limits Lie,” which he also used to open up numerous nights on his latest UK tour. The song is a slow peaceful opener. Already, listeners can hear Treays’ personality in the music, though this album is a lot more peaceful and perhaps more serious than his previous work. Although it has many differences from past songs, we still get Treays’ catchy lyrics, particularly in a rap verse towards the end of the song.
The next song, “Don’t You Find,” was the first to be released upon Treays’ return to the music world. It seemed, at first, that a lot of old fans were massively disappointed. It wasn’t similar to anything they’d heard at all, with Treays’ dragged-out lyrics and slow instrumental parts. But after a few weeks, it was probably one of the most popular on the album, with its lyrics branded all over social media.
“Turn On The Light” is a slightly cheerier song compared to others on the album. However, the lyrics aren’t parallel with its sound. There are many arguable stories behind the lyrics, however it seems to be a confession of his self-destructive ways. “I’m sweating in a carcass, I’ve given up on me” and the catchy line, “I’ve got a good looking corpse hanging on to me tightly” seems to be the focus for most listeners.
Perhaps the most well-received song on the album is “Zombie.” Its lively beat and catchy chorus are nearly impossible to get out of your head. The introduction gives no hint as to how rowdy the song is about to get. It was coincidentally released around Halloween, and although not actually related to the lyrics, this drew in a much wider audience for the song. This song in particular probably reminds previous fans of older work by Treays, allowing them to nostalgically growl the lyrics out as loud as they possibly can. In this sense, it is also a song that represents Treays himself, with words like “I’ve got bloodshot eyes and there’s blood in my teeth.”
“The Prophet” sees a return of Treays’ slurry contribution to his music. The song seems to kick out at the government or society with “She blames her poverty on her parents’ generation.” Rather than an insight into his own life, this song seems to be about a girl, or romantic interest in his life. The slow the lyrics are as catchy as the rest of the album. “She asked me is it painless? / Am I humouring the brainless?”
“Mary Lee” also features Treays’ slurred vocals dragging out through the introduction. Once past this, though, the song puts you into a relaxed trance with a steady rhythm and soothing lyrics. You find yourself sharing a journey in which Treays tells you of his past and regrets.
“Trouble” is one of the less popular pieces on the album, even though it is one of the more upbeat ones, with words like “There’s no time like the present to make this trouble stand up and leave.” It also sees the return of Treays’ infamous “Do, do, do, do’s.”
“Rabbit Hole” is another song that adds a bit of nostalgia to the album, with obvious links to past music. “Peter” is my personal favourite, and has been described by many fans as one that sounds more personal to Treays himself. This is likely because of the dark edge the song holds. The lyrics he hisses out alongside the angry-attitude instrumentals portray the story of a man battling the voice inside of his head. The two characters are complete opposites, making life extremely difficult.
“Love Is Only A Heartbeat Away” is perhaps the only song that can be described as having a beautiful atmosphere. The calming tune and lyrics allow you to drift off into nice thoughts – but everyone knows things are never nice when written by this artist. Words like “heart full of love but I’m only here to kill her” are angelically whispered to you, hidden by the highly-contrasting notes. Another song with this layout is “Murder Of Crows.”
The finale, “They Told Me It Rained,” nicely tidies up the album with aspects of all the songs. It seems like the perfect goodbye, accompanied by a steady beat and harsh lyrics. With the repetition of lines “I give up / I give in” and “show me love,” it seems to be a plea for someone to accept Treays, despite the faults he spoke of in previous songs. The album has been largely accepted by new and old fans and features many new favourites.