Over 20 years ago something incredible happened. A local band in New Hampshire called Groovechild released an album and it was magic. It sold 60,000 copies. That is unheard of. Incredible. Every review and every story about this band since then references this fact and I feel that I must mention it here. They almost did it. We hear this time and time again. Almost man, close but not close enough. A documentary of the NH seacoast music scene highlights the band’s journey in the 90’s. They almost made it big. Almost. They…. didn’t… quite…. do it.
Well…. fuck that. They did it. No “almost” about it. They made it. 60,000 copies. Lets put that in perspective. One million people live in New Hampshire. 500,000 households are in the state. What does this mean? Over 10 percent of homes in NH have a copy of “Sick at Last” by Goovechild. 10 percent!!! There are 150 million homes in the United States. The Beatles album "Revolver" has sold 5 million copies. This means you can find the album in 3% of homes across the country. You are three times as likely to find a Groovechild album in a NH home as one of the most iconic albums of all time. Am I saying Groovechild is as good as the Beatles- No, no one is the Beatles. I am saying though that their impact on New Hampshire cannot be overstated.
Groovechild is in the studio right now recording their next album. So I was extremely excited when I got an advance copy of some of their tunes that are going to be on the album. It is all there. Bibbo’s uniquie and memorable vocals alongside Killough’s Jazz-rock filled guitar lines. It is jam and punk and metal and jazz and folk and it is also none of it at the same time. Funk progressions melt into expansive drum fills from Glaspie, the new devil behind the drums. Lyrics seem personal and accessible to your own emotions of loss and love.
The thing that sticks out most in these tracks is the disjointed melting of the unexpected with familiarity. Each tune tosses in enough detours of direction that you won’t get bored but you also will not get lost in convolution solely for complexity sake. Noise cancels out to silence and heaps masses of heavy resonant notes into your brain.
Does it sound like the Groovechild of old- Who cares? It does and it doesn’t, it is and it isn’t. The fact that does matter is that these songs are another deposit of greatness from a momentous band. We are all children of the groove.