“I’m Falling off of the World” by Project Grand Slam

Music

In any of its incarnations, the first element that strikes out at us in the song “I’m Falling off of the World” by Project Grand Slam is its rambunctious beat, and considering the potency its players are giving it in the new single from The Shakespeare Concert, this is all the more accurate a statement. This live rendition of the track brings a lot of emphasis on physicality to the audience, but those who worry that it’s an aesthetical departure from the PGS we all know and love shouldn’t fret. From top to bottom, this is the band at the purest and most unrelenting, which is likely why the song has been getting as much love from the critics as it has been this spring.

The lead vocal here is a bit more centered on the groove than what we heard in the original studio version of “I’m Falling off of the World,” and I love the way this effect buffers the bottom end of the mix. The drums have a lot of charisma to contribute to the big picture of this song, and without sounding overstated they’re able to craft a narrative equal to that of the lyrics (which is really saying something, given the poetic depth of this piece in particular). It might not be the most elaborate arrangement on the LP, but what we’re listening to in this performance is just as much an example of PGS’s collective skill as any other in the tracklist.

Robert Miller’s bassline verges on reckless in this song in particular, but this was important to add the hint of danger that so many other crossover rock singles I’ve listened to in 2022 have lacked. He’s intent on giving us just a bit more oomph than we need in this piece, which is somewhat of a departure from his anti-indulgence attitude as it’s been cultivated in the last two studio albums from Project Grand Slam. This is a welcome adjustment and something I would normally expect to hear only when seated in front of the stage for one of his band’s lauded live performances. Venue size doesn’t matter with this crew; it’s all about getting as close to the volume-born action as possible, which The Shakespeare Concert and “I’m Falling off of the World” specifically do quite well.

As always, this latest release sees Miller delivering with a panache that has become unfortunately uncommon in the indie rock community lately, and I doubt this will be the last time he garners the trust and respect of his peers and critics like myself. If you haven’t listened to this live-in-studio work from Project Grand Slam, you need to make a point of doing so as soon as possible, and “I’m Falling off of the World” is the right song to start with. It opens the tracklist of the album excellently, and it undeniably sets the tone for what feels like one of the more immersive live performances that I’ve had the chance to review in 2022.

Claire Uebelacker

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