REVIEW: canadian alt rockers cleopatrick usher in a new era with "GOOD GRIEF"
cleopatrick are finally back after two years with a single - ‘GOOD GRIEF’ and it’s everything you wanted and more. cleopatrick consist of childhood best friends Luke Gruntz (lead vocals, guitar) and Ian Fraser (drums) from Cobourg, Ontario. ‘GOOD GRIEF’ came out on December 11th, 2020, and is a product directly because of quarantine - it’s filled with nostalgia for touring, for moshpits, for being out together with their friends. It’s a song that marks the start of a new era for cleopatrick and for New Rock Mafia, the collective started by Luke Gruntz himself.
'GOOD GRIEF' is a moshpit-worthy track, filled with loud, fuzzy guitar and killer drums. It's, in Luke Gruntz's words, "...to strike fear in the hearts of our enemies, while simultaneously throwing an arm around our friends.” It’s the first single off their debut album, and while currently unnamed, we can safely assume it’ll arrive sometime next year. ‘GOOD GRIEF,’ and the album it comes from, was completely produced, written, and recorded by cleopatrick and their friend Jig Dubé, who is the lead singer and bassist of ZIG MENTALITY, a punk band who also have the same DIY-mentality and fiery drive to create guitar driven music. ‘GOOD GRIEF’ was made by three young early-20 somethings, who are very passionate about their art and strive to make honest, real guitar-driven music, without the supervision from a greedy corporate label. It was made in Jig Dubé’s basement studio.The track pokes fun at phonies, at those that just don’t get it - “it” being cleopatrick themselves, who pride themselves on being different than other bands - a statement probably uttered by every band ever, but for cleopatrick, it mean something just a bit more, it means New Rock Mafia.
This single is about touring, friendship, being honest, being yourself in the most authentic way you can be, and calling out those who aren't doing so. cleopatrick are one of the three founding bands that make up the collective that’s called New Rock Mafia. New Rock Mafia is (as quoted directly from the manifesto found on cleopatrick’s 90s-esque website) “...a collective centred around the development, distribution, and defense of real guitar music. it was created as a means to cultivate a new era culture around young artists and listeners that share common values of honesty, inclusivity, and escapism. The new rock mafia exists out of necessity. it’s a sword and shield; destined to establish and protect a new scene for a new generation of guitar bands. NRM is about being undefined by what has come before. NRM is about drawing a line in the sand. NRM is about the distance between our scene, and their scene. NRM is about creating something meaningful for the kids that truly need it.” As someone who’s a part of New Rock Mafia, that’s the best way to summarize it. New Rock Mafia is something I’ve found a home in, somewhere that’s not any specific place, but a mentality, a way to treat others and yourself. It is a collective of young people who are passionately changing what it means to play guitar music and support it. Long gone are the times of rockstars, ones who lived by the motto “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll,” those who didn’t care about who they hurt, whether it be others or themselves, those who didn’t genuinely care about their listeners, who only cared for money and fame. Rockstars who had a dozen ghostwriters and made music that was hollow, full of lies and fakeness - which is unfortunately still happening now, and New Rock Mafia aims to separate themselves from all of that.
The three New Rock Mafia founding bands - cleopatrick, ZIG MENTALITY, and Ready the Prince, are full of good, genuine men making music worth listening to with a community of people who are like-minded. A scene that is reminiscent of Seattle’s rock scene of the 90’s, but rather more of a scene of safety and inclusivity, of encouraging healthy behaviors and meaningful conversations. New Rock Mafia don’t want to be anyone but themselves, and what they are is real, honest people making real guitar-driven music, looking out for each other, finding solace from the world through art they create, and being the protectors of this scene for the next generation of guitar bands. A generation which the new era of is being ushered in by the release of singles from each of the three founding bands: ‘Regicide’ by Ready the Prince, ‘Best Direction’ by ZIG MENTALITY, and finally, cleopatrick’s ‘GOOD GRIEF.’ Whatever 2021 has in store for New Rock Mafia, I’m incredibly excited for it. These boys aren’t here to play around, they’re going to take over the world with their music - real music that you can make without a major record label, without changing yourself to fit in with today’s rockstars, music that to create, “...all you need is some good friends and a little vision,” to quote Luke Gruntz.
Stream ‘GOOD GRIEF’ here on Spotify. Follow cleopatrick on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.