- Lion Name
- I Think We're Alone Now
- Sleep Detective
- Iskra Goodbye
- Susie Jo
- Very Very Librarian
- Sometimes Sometimes
- Something I Learned Today
- Infinity Caller
What do you do when irrational guilt and fear start to steer the ship? When you're a kid living in the Dallas suburbs it's relatively predictable; you start to see a shrink, take some prescribed meds, and as soon as you have access, numb the voices with drugs and alcohol. Not a particularly novel or interesting trajectory, but what if those voices just keep getting louder, consuming every waking moment, leaving you effectively paralyzed or twitching with paranoia? After a while, succumbing to these voices might seem self-indulgent, a cry for attention, or just boilerplate teenage histrionics. What do you do when you're 30; a grown-ass-man still tethered to the beast that dictated your life throughout your formative years? You could do a lot of things, but if you're Travis Johnson of the band Grooms, you stop drinking, soberly stare the demons in the face, and start writing songs.
Johnson's OCD (a religion-centric form of OCD called Scrupulosity) has guided all of his adult life's pursuits, from inspiring his initial interest in music to his current day job making guitar pedals at Brookyn's Death By Audio. After releasing two albums on the prestigious indie label Kanine Records, the band still hadn't gained enough traction to support themselves with their music and they were understandably ready to call it quits. However, in 2011, impressed with their albums and live shows, author Michael Azerrad invited Grooms to perform at his Our Band Could Be Your Life show alongside St. Vincent, Ted Leo, Wye Oak, Dan Deacon, and WV alumni Dirty Projectors. It was a huge opportunity for the band, and the catalyst for what would become their new album Infinity Caller.
Azerrad's enthusiasm and encouragement gave Grooms' Travis Johnson and and Emily Ambruso the confidence to write and record an album of the band's most accessible and immediately memorable songs to date. Though you can hear the influence of bands like Broadcast, Pavement, and Talk Talk, on Infinity Caller Grooms prove their acumen for propulsive beauty, riddled with pathos is undiminished by sobriety. With a focus on catchy melodies and "finding new ways to be pretty", Grooms sound renewed and strong, and ready to greet whatever comes next with clear-eyed-optimism and well-deserved confidence.
Travis Johnson, Emily Ambruso & Kevin Lynch
Travis Johnson (assisted by Oli Ackermann and Jay Heiselmann) at Death By Audio