Gripin Perform at Jolly Joker

What a crowded Jolly Joker lacks in elbow room it certainly makes up for in performance quality, and this month's Gripin performance was no exception. The venue has a constant circulation of quality Turkish pop and rock artists no doubt attracted by the spectacle it can offer in terms of sound and lighting.

Gripin have been around for years, and respect for them has only increased amongst a wide range music-lovers with time. Even the most culturally dilettante of yabangees will have heard Aşk Nerden Nereye ("What has happened to love?") while waiting for a haircut or sat on a late night taxi ride. 

The aforementioned song, particularly, has a strong resonance lyrically, as it talks about changes in conceptions to love as the years and generations go by. 

I feel cheap and dirty in explaining Gripin's style to people as 'pop-rock'. That ambiguous misnomer encompasses almost every chart-topping guitar-based band from Alanis Morissette to Nickleback (is it Canada's unique gift to civilisation?). 'Pop rock' more robustly, in fact, represents an industry's attempt to legitimate sinister musical hate-crimes more accurately billed 'mom rock' and 'dad metal'. 

Yet Gripin, sort of makes 'pop-rock' okay. It sounds funny, but it feels right.

Their rhythms, beats and instrumentation, utilising electronic back tracks and pedal effects, create a dark, layered rock undertone to refrains and vocal harmony of a distinct pop quiddity. Gripin are also measured in their incorporation of other genres and instrumentation without diviating from their specific sound, mastered over time.

No wonder they are considered amongst the best in Turkey's musical hall of fame. A strong performance, though because of their songs' dispensation to climax dramatically, I feel a bigger setting would give them the ability to better spread their wings, güya.

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