Groovatron
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Groovatron

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Space: the final frontier. Few have been there, but many have written songs about its mystery. Our burden of living restricted to the ground has inspired generations to reach for the sky and beyond. The space rock scene evolved from the underground jazz clubs into the mainstream, with bands like Pink Floyd and Yes and artists like David Bowie and Elton John writing celestial lyrics and melodies. Using group collaboration to write new music, Groovatron’s creative outlet has expanded from its humble beginnings in Hammond, Ind., to beyond our planet’s atmosphere.

Groovatron’s newest studio release, called In The Machine pays respect to those who pioneered space jams before them, while also fusing heavy jazz influence into their expansive compositions. A quick glance at the track list on the back of the album will clue you into the spaceyness of this album. The first track, “Star Biscuit” sounds like a journey through the outer realms of the imagination of a movie character on the run. The hi-hats keep a steady tempo on top of a funked out synth-bass. A great sax riff comes and goes, alternating with tense keyboard chords that provide the song’s great tension.

The bass, sax and guitar groove in the second track “Seizures Salad” kick hard for the first couple of minutes, until they break away into a soft, but up-tempo section with a galloping bass line. Finally, it builds into its instrumental refrain with a crescendo and a dramatic pause. My favorite sax part in the whole album is in the intro to “17 X’s” as it’s set over flowing guitar chords, which stay right in the bluesy groove. This song almost reminds me of a song off the Blues Brothers soundtrack, except that it’s in an odd time signature and really breaks down into a crazy culmination of congas and chromatic diddies.

The last track of the album, called “The New Mash Tater Controversy”, might be a song to check out fresh out of the cellophane. “Controversy” starts off with a great syncopated full band refrain that slowly evolves into this great marimba solo in the middle. Although it remains unclear whether it’s synthesized or not, either way, it is funky as hell. It’s another song on this album that fits the trend of being straight out of one of the most intense moments of a movie soundtrack. All of these songs have a great sense of urgency to them that really make the listener become enveloped in their sounds.

Overall, the entire album is a great listen for anyone who has an interest in progressive and fusion type musical genres. Groovatron uses a lot of great sounds on this release, ranging from electronic drums and synths to Stratocasters and saxophones. They do an amazing job to not make it sound cluttered or rushed, as every song takes on its own quirky character. Look for this Midwestern jam band to come on strong in 2008.

by Josh Fisher

- the217


Groovatron's new album, "In the Machine."

When I heard the word Groovatron I immediately pictured a machine of some sort that, very systematically, grooves.

A look at the album cover, and it became a bit clearer to me what a Groovatron might be.

The album cover, a human head with a multitude of gears within, led me a bit closer to an understanding.

I decided a Groovatron is not just one's own brain, but one's capability to groove.

This album does just that. "In the Machine" immediately reminded me of The Police's "Ghosts in the Machine," but put it to sound, and it's quite different.

There isn't a word from start to finish, but the album's pure instrumentals reminded me of other bands or groups I am familiar with.

In "Scuff Muffin," the first minute and a half sound straight off a Crystal Method album. Although Groovatron is a bit funkier than The Crystal Method, the influence was there.

But after looking at Groovatron's make-up, it's all made up of 'real' musical instruments, meaning guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, etc..., whereas groups like The Crystal Method use turntables and electronics to make sound.

The album opens with "Star Biscuit," the initial sounds making me feel as if I am being abducted by aliens, which would be way awesome.

As the track plays on, the uses of saxophone make me think immediately of a band called "Sweep The Leg Johnny." Much like Groovatron, they are a unique band, almost untimely and awkwardly using things where one wouldn't expect, but it works and it fits well with everything else going on.

On "Seizures Salad," there is a more defined example of the band's jam tone, as it starts out with a steady, constant jam.

I'm no expert on jam bands, but it's a train of sound you may know it if you heard it.

By the time I reached track seven of the total nine, I already gained a good sense of what Groovatron was all about.

But it was during "MacGyver" that I really picked up on the Primus influence, via Tony Qualls' pounding bass lines.

I consider myself a Primus fan, and hearing their influence turned me on to their stuff even more.

All in all, Groovatron is a funky band - no bones about it.

The only thing I would like to know at this point is how they came up with the song titles.

For example, listening to "MacGyver" made me think of Primus, not the awesomely innovative "I-can-get-out-of-any-situation-with-a-paper clip-and-chewing-gum" TV character.

If you're into funk, groove, jam bands, electronica or even mellower, older groups I'd give Groovatron a shot in the CD player.

It's different than anything I've heard. - Jason Duarte/Associate Vege Editor Issue date: 4/18/08 Section: The Verge


Discography

2001 Yes Have Some
2004 Don't Mind If I Do
2008 In The Machine (instrumental)

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Bio

To say a Groovatron concert is more like a kick ass rock show is accurate, but that is not the whole
story. Bringing together 6 attention hungry 20-somethings with twisted senses of humor has a tendency to instigate some very outlandish theatrics. A Groovatron show is just that, a show. It is an experience to behold, a veritable feast for both the ears and eyes. The members of Groovatron feel that it is important to entertain, as well as rock your socks
off. Playing off their desires to entertain, Groovatron has developed a stage show that is constantly evolving. Now, this isn’t some sort of rehearsed play like your high school’s version of the Music Man. The Groovatron stage show can take any number of forms, from synchronized dancing, matching (and sometimes non-matching) costumes, or full blown skits including pajama jammy jams, beach parties, interstellar robot fights, and 70’s funk parties.

Voted the "Best Breakthrough Performance" of the 15,000 person Wakarusa Music Festival by Jambase.com
in 2006, Groovatron has begun to be nationally recognized as a must see band. Their exploits have become a huge part of burgeoning summer festival scene. Additionally, members of The String Cheese Incident, moe., Umphrey’s McGee, and more, have all appeared as guest musicians at a Groovatron show. With over 600 live performances under their belts, the
Groovatron show continues to get stronger and stronger. This train is coming for you, whether you like it or not. So, come prepared; you will be rocked!