August 27, 2014
That Was The Show That Was: Grooms with Hooray For Earth | ICA, Boston | 22 Aug.
[PHOTOS: Quinn Banford, special to Clicky Clicky] In a perfect world, Brooklyn-based dream-pop concern Grooms would be a band on a massive upswing. We hate to classify them as "underrated," as we wish continued success for them and every other act we ramble on about on the Clicky Clicky-sphere, but the Azerrad-approved touring threesome's colossal 2013 LP Infinity Caller failed to breech the overground despite critical acclaim and even a nod from Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis. New York synth-rockers Hooray For Earth had the band join them on tour for close to a month this summer, including a penultimate stop in Boston Friday night for the similarly penultimate evening of the Institute for Contemporary Arts' current Wavelengths series, which has also featured, among others, the legendary Dean Wareham and notable electronic artist André Obin.
When we last checked in on Grooms in October, they were headlining a tour supporting the aforementioned Infinity Caller. At the ICA Friday the act revisited a few tunes from the collection, including a particularly vital take on "Lion Name," but focused primarily on delivering new tunes from an as-yet-unreleased new record that has been teased in various social media posts. These newer tunes retain and build upon the things we've come to love most about Grooms: the precise, almost prose-like lyrics of fronter Travis Johnson, inventive and atmospheric guitar interplay and a steady rhythmic approach, which taken together plays at times like a smart, modern take on the sound proffered by Kitchens Of Distinction decades ago. Tunes we know and love, like the Infinity Caller highlight "Very Very Librarian," mixed well with Grooms' newer compositions and made for a more than satisfying opening set. Purchase Infinity Caller from Western Digital right here; two tracks from the record are embedded below.
Hooray For Earth's headlining set affirmed the quartet's status as a big-time and pop-friendly indie rock band. While sound problems hampered momentum early on, the band found its footing in plenty of time to deliver a strong performance, and even had a cool visual display going on the ICA's roof. Tracks from the act's recently released Racy, which minimizes the dancier outliers of its debut in favor of a more guitar-charged attack, rang out into the summer night and elicited the strongest reactions from the crowd. Racy was issued by Dovecote Records July 29, and it can be purchased right here; stream the bouncy single "Keys" via the Soundcloud embed below. The show, held out of doors at the ICA, was an all-around delight, and we can only hope the ICA brings Wavlengths back in 2015. -- Dillon Riley
Grooms: Bandcamp | Facebook | Internerds
That Was The Show That Was | Grooms with Young Adults, Chandeliers, Vegans | Great Scott | 9 Oct.
Young Adults, Grooms, Ovlov and Soccer Mom | Great Scott, Boston | 11 July