There was a time when all musical roads should have led directly to the Bristol scene. Bands such as The Chesterfields, The Flatmates, Brilliant Corners and The Blue Aeroplanes provided the perfect antidote for those who refused to succumb to the infectious jangle-pop sound of The Smiths and other northern types purveying more 80’s gripes than gratitude.
Arguably the best of them all were The Groove Farm. They are now back on their own Raving Pop Blast! Recordings with their first official studio (non-compilation) release in nearly thirty years.
After so many years it is all very different to how us oldies may remember them. Gone are the plinking tinny guitar riffs and funky bass inflections that was peculiar to their sound and made them weird jangle-pop royalty among the flexi disc, fanzine selling, floppy fringed cool crowds of the mid to late 80’s era.
The above has largely been replaced with sub three minute garage-pop that flits between the sultry aggression of a band like The Barracudas and the playful buzzsaw inflections of The Buzzcocks, as they present a body of tracks that is more memorable as the sum of its parts rather than for the individual tracks.
Despite the complete change in aesthetic, this set of musicians are still convey the same sort of guitar innovations that they used to 30 years ago. Tracks such as Purple (48th Life Disaster) (see below), Appetite, Trouble and Surfin’ on My Mind all infuse clipped metallic lead guitar riffs that are largely atypical to the garage-pop genre, but feel so perfect and at home, in this bands repertoire.
Other tracks such as Back of My Mind, the manic and brilliant Psycho Vallerie (see below), In The Summertime and Number One are largely typical of any number of garage-pop bands from the mid 1960’s to late 1970’s and all purvey that extra level of energy that is only really felt when a band is really enjoying the music they are playing.
It’s all a joyous romp. Not one where you will be assigning numerous tracks to an mp3 play list so you can listen to its bits now and again…rather it is one that demands you to listen to the full album and repeatedly rewards you for this by increasing your adrenaline levels.
The (new) Groove Farm are back!