Hailing from Orange County, California, there is a certain Beach Boys vibe to some of The Gromble’s indie-infused electronica. In February 2016, a collection of 14 of their songs, recorded mainly in the five members’ homes, will be unveiled for the first time on their debut album, Jayus.
Citing Neutral Milk Hotel, Weezer and Pavement as primary influences, the unconventional quintet’s first record has been four years in the making, a long, complex and one imagines rather nightmarish process that saw them go through various lineup changes. Still, that’s all in the past and now we have this new release to look forward to.
Kicking things off is the classical-sounding opening number, “Overture.” When I read “indie-electronic” on the press release, this sturdy piece wasn’t quite what I was expecting… “Real Sympathy,” the second track, is much closer to what I had imagined and includes elements of the aforementioned Beach Boys, especially in the melody.
The throwback to the ’90s, “Slam,” recalls Deacon Blue’s “Real Gone Kid” with its high-pitched backing vocals. “Desole Part II” (Part I precedes it) is quite different, beginning as it does with electronic tinkering and a wall of voices. “Don’t Stand a Chance” is sparse on the verses, but builds to more of a crescendo. In stark contrast to the start of the song, there’s quite a lot of shouting and heavy guitar going on towards the end.
There’s a lovely – and welcome – piano interlude entitled “NYC Frog Interlude,” while “Again” is probably my favourite track. Another pretty good song is the whimsical, Radiohead-esque “Creepy Jr.” “Danny King” is not without its charm either, although to be honest I don’t think this is an LP I would ever listen to again.
It’s not that it’s bad, you understand, it’s just not the kind of music I would normally pay attention to, even though it does contain some harmonious melodies. I got bored, yes, but that doesn’t mean others will. If you like the acts I highlighted earlier who have had the biggest impact on The Gromble, then you’ll probably like this.
Jayus will be out on February 12.
For more information on The Gromble, visit their official website.