For any musical act, the moment when your first album hits is a huge one. For Toronto band Grounders, however, the experience has been a long time coming. Founded in 2010, the group have released a couple of singles as well as their first EP, Wreck of a Smile, which didn’t quite explode, but burned steadily, giving us their best song so far in Speedboats. That is, until this first album. Five years in the making, Grounders (the band and the album) has been well worth the wait.
Secret Friend, showcases the bands characteristic psychedelic indie style, but also introduces a new element of pop that will endear them to larger mainstream audiences. While previous singles were a little bit meandering and overly experimental, Secret Friend is definitely something for the masses. Pull It Over Me gives us more of the same.
However, Bloor Street and Pressure really raises the benchmark. Clocking in at three minutes and twenty-seven seconds, it’s the shortest piece on this nine-track album but it has an energy that makes for a really interesting listen. The most impressive thing about this album? Grounders keep up this standard throughout. Their sound, though not exactly unique, is refreshing and easy-going and has a real longevity to it.
For such a strong album, Grounders has an especially strong finish; Fool’s Banquet is more percussion-dependent, Pet Uno really lays into the electronica, while No Ringer puts a pretty bow on the album while showcasing all of Grounders’ strengths with a darker, grittier song. If nothing else, it shows that this fledgling band has plenty of creativity left in the tank and we don’t have to worry about them running low on fuel.
Grounders have taken their time with this release and the care and attention that has gone into all of the material here is clear to see from its out-set. One hopes that this album may act as a springboard to propel the band to a wider audience.