Newly reformed Vancouver rock group Groupoem began as Mr. Science in 1983 before settling on the band moniker, Groupoem in 1986. Consisting of Terry “Rubberstone” Robinson (songwriter/guitarist), Marph “Mr. Science” Nobody (singer/songwriter), Chris “Flea” Lee (drummer), and Darren “DK” Katamay (bass player), the band first released a six song 12” EP before going on a North America tour in 1987. They returned to the studio in the summer of 1987, where they recorded 10 songs that are being released now for the very first time!
The newly regrouped band members are releasing their new album, entitled, Dirt Church. The 18-tracked CD encompasses material from the band’s “early days” and as well as new material recorded in Vancouver at The Farm and Greenhouse Studios over the past two years.
The exciting new recording opens up with “SlimFast” that is overall a great melding of rock tunes. A bustling variety, the track takes the rhythmic pulse of melodic guitars and stirring vocals that are sung with stinging theatrics. Reverb-filled guitars as well as vocals that retain the same echoing quality are carved over the course of the punk tones.
“Affluenza” is a great alternative rock track with notes of punk running underneath the gamut of the song. Overall, a great welding of guitars, rhythmic bass, and drums.
“Hall Of Shame” has a rapid fire drumming beat which helps keep up the enthused rhythms and beats on this energized track. This song is filled with radio-active guitars and a big robust sound.
“Flat Earth” surprisingly has a relaxed feel to the cadence, and with a slightly soothing vibe, the vocals sound harmonious here. There is definitely a catchy vibe to the melodious mood. This track is about a loved one who doesn’t seem to meet expectations but manages to somehow surprise you anyways. Be expecting some epic guitar solos to be sounding off towards the end of this track.
“Unshrivled” is about the actions and reactions that are eventually met with repercussions on this cagey track filled with the power-punch of punk. This is a heated song filled with a simmering kind of anger with a wall of guitars to fill the soundscape of this track.
On “Stalker,” this song progresses with some aggressive guitars wheeling around with a thrusting energized feel. About a creeper who is chained to his old ways, this track is dressed in some ominous tones. Though slightly vexing, the heavy guitars give the track a metal edge that it needs.
“Frozen” is filled with the busy sound of guitars, bass, and drums. Buzzing with a charged and desperate feel to the track, the song is about a man who sees his wife with another man in a café, whose life eventually spirals out of control as his sole obsession is about getting into the mind of the other man.
“Pearls” is an edgy track with a guitar-heavy vibe that illustrates a girl who gives up on love after having her heart broken and eventually it gets too late for her and she’s now old and all alone. On that dismal note, this is a listless track with dark themes. A sweeping guitar solo closes the song with its sonorous raging sound.
“Two Bulls” is a metaphor for those who “have one foot in and one foot out, who run around in circles just pissing out the day.” A coalescing of interweaving guitars pave this rock-worthy vibe.
On “Skulls – Hey Jude” Nobody shouts out the lyrics in an enthused manner. His vocals are dosed in acidity as he sings about a brand of nightmare that a girl named Judy is living through as she goes through some suicidal intentions.
“The EDGE” depicts a life lived on the edge until his life on the precipice proves to be too dangerous for him. Moody guitars pervade this edgy sound that is filled with fast drums. Nobody nearly screams out the lyrics on this track.
The title-track, “Dirt Church” erupts in a melding of rapturous guitars and insanely fast drums. About an auctioneer who is in the market to try and sell “a church of dirt,” this track follows a slightly comical bent with some serious satirical overtones.
The sounds of guitars really comes alive here on the track, “Good Things.” About good and bad intentions and “past” and future schemes that don’t quite work out the way you want them to, the soaring cadences weave an interlocking sound of guitars that end up in a seething wall of tunes.
“Sustenance” is about running into a bit of bad luck but always taking the time to try and look on the brighter side of things. Gravitating guitars pivot off of a sure-fire drum beat, assuaging audiences that they are up for a fast and furious ride.
The powerhouse punch of rock tunes goes on to harness themselves in the following tracks: on “The Barge Comes” that has some punk layers with prog notes with a cycling of free-wheeling guitars, on the energetic punk rock track, “Likely Story,” on the blanket of guitars on “Gagline,” and the amped approach on “Ass Bankwardz,” which is about a banker with really backward ways.
Bleeding with a gritty sound, these songs are spewed in socially conscious commentary accompanied by melodic guitars and poetic lyrics. This is punk rock music with definitive progressive rock notes. The exulting sounds coming from each excellent track is sung with reckless abandon with pure guttural-ness, angst, and emotion.
Newly assembled Groupoem is coming away with an intact sound with torched undertones and scorched layers. Seething with paranoid and deranged themes, Nobody sings in each unforgettable track in a fit of raucous fervor.
Filled of depictions of relentless hooligans, love-shorn individuals, and under-estimated punksters, Dirt Church is divinely spirited imbued by the punk spirit.