[14 January 2010]
It should not go unsaid that a band whose primary member works at a record shop generally benefits from the flood of new and different forms of music to which its chief songwriter is regularly exposed. Such is the case of Grooms front man Travis Johnson, who at press time can be found behind the counter at the best vinyl joint in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Sound Fix. While it is not confirmed that Johnson is, in fact, inspired by the wax he rings up at Fix every week, one can certainly tell the influence of a combination of the Animal Collective catalog and vintage Unrest on his band’s debut full-length under its new moniker (the band formerly played under the unfortunate handle Muggabears). The excellent Rejoicer is a 35-minute cruise through the backstreets of the Brooklyn rock scene and builds itself around an intriguing array of Moog synthesizers, manipulated pedal steel, and heaping spoonfuls of amplifier fuzz to craft some of the most exciting new sounds the Kings County has to offer.