Sofa’s five-year run as a band culminated in the recording of this full-length in the winter of 1996. Tracked during overnight sessions at an East-End Montreal studio, the album is a shrouded, finely wrought song cycle of sensory overload and the sense of loss. Mixed bone dry and with almost no overdubs, guitarist Ian Ilavsky (Constellation co-founder, Silver Mt. Zion, Re:) cuts against the metronomic pacesetting of bassist Scott Clarkson and drummer Keith Marchand while Brad Todd’s voice alternates between schizophrenic staccato bursts and a devastatingly intimate, densely lyrical, often half-spoken invocation. One guitar, one bass, one trap kit, one voice. Grey is a mesmerising amalgam of slow core, industro-punk, primitivist math rock and post-hardcore. "Like Slint and Big Black meeting for a Joy Division reunion" in the words of one music writer of the era.
5. 80 000
6. Red Lake
8. The Fence
11. Medicine Hat
Running time: 00:52:52
CD is packaged in a custom die-cut gatefold jacket using felt-finish 80lb art stock cover paper with a window cut that allows the insert card to shine through. Jacket spine and back cover are hand stamped in black ink. First run of 1000 CD jackets (sold out) were constructed with interlocking hardwood sticks glued together to create a 3-sided frame, with thick duplex paper then wrapped around and glued onto the frame.
Ian Ilavsky: guitar, organ, piano
Keith Marchand: drums
Brad Todd: voice, tapes
Recorded and mixed at Studio Piccolo in Montreal by Iain Booth and Sofa, with tracking assistance by Denis Normandeau and Paul Drouin. Mastered at DNA by Andrew Frank.