Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Album Review: The Grotto's-La Vie Est Belle

The Grottos
La Vie Est Belle
**and1/2 out of *****
The San Fransisco group The Grottos just posted this album to their bandcamp page and with not knowing much about the band the tunes are engaging in a lo-fi/punk/garage way. "Bathsalt Babies" opens up the La Vie Est Belle EP with a bass line that sounds close to derailing but still bubbly instantly establishing a clanking good groove.    

When the group sticks to more pop/garage rock there are better results such as on "I Don't Want To Be Your Home" featuring a great guitar tone or the clanging surf feeling during the wash out of "The Pyshic Box". The bands sound and tone is engaging but their vocals leave a lot to be desired, the obvious lo-fi price to pay, like on the 6+ minute "Howl".

When the EP moves toward punk-experimental-metal things can sound strangely muted on "Shoot a Gun" or down right skippable like with "Hand Thrasher" and its distorted to the point of not mattering vocals.

Most of the album has a sense of exploring/searching between all of these styles. The band can catch great moments such as "(Passing) Through This World" which is eerie and exciting with its piano, screaming solo and layers of talking vocals mixed in. More often though things feel like the title track itself; a combo of noise rock, tons of effects and tempo changes that never lives up to the total sum of its parts but still sounds like its heading in the right direction.
Another random find on bandcamp. Can't get enough of the site. If you are into Garage rock but this isn't your bag stay tuned tomorrow. The Grotto's page is here. Stream the album below as well:

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