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Brooklyn's Grooms formed when Travis Johnson, Emily Ambruso, and Gabriel Wurzel changed their band's name from Muggabears in the spring of 2009. Starting with the standard vocals/guitar/bass/drums lineup and adding bursts of reverb and distortion, Grooms' music contains Polvo-esque jagged frenzy, the winding guitar lines of Pavement, and Sonic Youth's washes of noise -- often all within the same song. In October of 2009 the band released its first album, Rejoicer, a ten-song full-length, on the effects pedal company Death by Audio's record label (in whose factory Johnson worked, and in whose next-door music venue Ambruso used to work). In 2010 Grooms played the South by Southwest music festival in March, and in June drummer Wurzel left, replaced by Jim Sykes (Marnie Stern, Parts & Labor). Grooms also switched to the Kanine record label, which re-released Rejoicer.
The band's second, more textural full-length, Prom, was recorded at several different studio and home-recording locations throughout the East Coast and was released in July of 2011. They followed in 2013 with Infinity Caller, again switching labels to work with Western Vinyl and tending more toward Grooms' slack-jawed indie pop elements than the shoegaze tones they explored on Prom. Their more expansive and explorative fourth album, Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair, arrived in early 2015. It introduced the four-piece lineup of Johnson, Ambruso, bassist Jay Heiselmann, and drummer/actor Steve Levine. Staying with Western Vinyl, they followed it with the dreamy psychedelia of Exit Index in 2017. Much of that album was captured during a six-hour session on the final day of business for famed New York recording studio the Magic Shop. ~ Jeremy Shulkin
- Brooklyn, NY
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