GROOVING IN GREEN
Unique in their Goth Rock species, UK's Grooving in Green are back with a new 4-track EP whose title could not be more appropriate: "Rebirth". Besides the throbbing, yet classy and poised, bass lines by the recently joined Switchblade Switch, which imbue the songs with a hereto unknown bluish black air, as well as provide them a balanced, solid foundation alongside the also lately arrived drummer Thomas T Cat (sadly passed away just after the release), this recording benefits anew from the contribution of the in-demand Stephen Carey (co-founder of The Eden House), not only as producer but also as special guest guitarist. As a result, the band's distinctively straight, jagged core comes wrapped this time in layers of 12-string bright chords ala The Mission UK and, moreover, the weird, distant sounding gusts of guitar in the style of Fields of the Nephilim have an enhanced role in this record. All of this constitutes an enjoyable complement to their sound blueprint, which still remains latent in the characteristic vocal games of General Megatron Bison, switching from caustic growls to mellow tones, and the scything, windy riffs plucked by Pete Finnemore, being both of them the only two remaining original members. Thus, what awaits you in this EP is a truly revamped set of classics, specifically, three from their debut full-length album "Post Traumatic Stress" (2010) and the title track of the second one, "Stranglehold" (2012), which represent a major step forward for a band which, nevertheless, stay true to their roots. The advanced videoclip "9th Circle" already cleared up any doubt about how these changes would affect their style: they had been for good and the wait worthwhile too. What strikes most at first listening is the intricate, sharp quality of the sound, in addition to a noticeably more equitable mixing that makes each element stands out by itself and through the interaction with the others. In this regard, the bass-driven passage over the last third looks now much more crisp and far-reaching, shining up in all its dark FX glory. While the main difference lies in the profusion of shimmery strums climbing atop - perhaps too high at times - which add an ethereal touch that certainly embellishes and fits in, giving greater depth to the song. And the same applies to "Escape Myself", enriched with pristine, jangly chords all along. It's far less monolithic than its predecessor, and this is particularly noteworthy in the dawnrazored guitars duel and in the clearer, more tuned vocals hovering over all, paired in a ghostly way with subtly strategic synth notes. Special mention can also be made of the chilling, steely bass tones, which reinforce the eerie undercurrent like a thumping heartbeat. As compared to its twin sister, "Stranglehold" has an equally high-powered central hook, but even more vibrant and tuneful because an extra dose of gleaming strings, set in contrast with a bleak, epic, more see-through background of reverb drenched guitar echoes. Likewise, the album's closing track "Some Kind Of Saviour" seems entirely new. It's more lush, nuanced and widescreen, and the old gaps have been filled with womb-like, small eternities, rather reminiscents of The Eden House. So, to the light of all the above, what we're facing here is a promising renaissance of Grooving in Green, a band still faithful to their essence but sounding now better than ever before. Stay close to them, the best seems yet to come.
Review by Billyphobia