[Album Review] Grounders- Grounders
3.5Rating
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

grounders

Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Label: Nevado

Grounders’ 2015 self-Titled, full-length LP release will no doubt be making ripples if not waves this late spring/summer as they embark on a North American tour to promote it, commencing in New York City and finishing at Calgary’s very own Sled Island Music Festival.

Under the production wing of David Newfeld, who has worked on perfecting past albums by the likes of Broken Social Scene, and Holy Fuck, Grounders’ LP is brilliantly composed and produced blend of current and vintage pop. Catchy licks, spun forwards, and backwards, and some flanked with distortion, are collaged amongst sparkling keyboard synths, and crooning lyrics that are as abstract and explorative as they are romantic.  Its like, far out, dude, and far too easy to lose oneself in songs like these, so perfectly timed to the LPs May release date, echoing the warm-winded folly of impending summer days.

On the intro track, ‘Secret Friend,’ beautiful synthy keys tumble up and down waterfall octaves, playfully ornamenting jangling percussion, as the melancholy question of “where do we go from here,” is repeated in the lyrics.  It’s a feel good track, spurring feelings of an innocent, child-like psychedelic bliss.  ‘Bloor Street and Pressure’ and ‘Fools Banquet,’ guide the listener into more electro-centric realms, landscapes of head bobbing and hip swaying that still maintain the bands wistfulness.  ‘No Ringer,’ a song reminiscent of something you might hear on a more recent Radiohead album, is a serenade of psychedelia and seduction, a warm haze of backwards loops and guitar distortions, swirling around an eternal 2/4 simple drum beat to create a smooth, and understated groove.

Grounders’ LP is a playground of dreamy, poppy awesomeness, and an ample fit within the ‘krautrock revival’ that seems to be sweeping through indie music trends these days, and rightly so, its just so lovely.  This sound, with its wonderfully warm, lo-fi proggy goodness has popped up time and again in various forms throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but perhaps it is only now with our advancement in musical technology and production techniques that bands are fully able to embrace the warpy and somewhat lazy quality of kraut-psychedelia in a more precise manner (kind of an ironic statement, I know.) 

Joining this bandwagon, however, means that Grounders’ will have to strive extra hard to set their sound apart from other current groups, and the undoubted continuation of bands to come. The LP definitely showcases the group’s talent, and the sound and production are great, but the ways in which it sticks out are minimal. With Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, and Ariel Pink to name a few folks currently rocking a similar sound, operating in this guise of kraut-nouveau in the future, will perhaps require the experimentation to be turned up a notch to stay ahead of the pack.  However, for now this LP will make a head-turning name for the band, and I am most hopeful for the sweet sounds to come.