Monday, May 07, 2007

Grotus - Luddite/ Slow Motion Apocalypse

With their eccentric blend of disparate musical styles, San Francisco's Grotus fit in extremely well with the 1990s freewheeling alt-rock spirit -- so well, and so freewheeling, in fact, that hardly anyone remembers their existence. Birthed along with the decade itself, the quartet comprised of Lars Fox (vocals/samples), Adam Tanner (guitar/bass/samples), Bruce Boyd recorded several albums (including 1991's Brown, 1993's Slow Motion Apocalypse, and 1996's Mass) featuring heavily electronic/industrial distortions of alt-rock and metal -- all topped with often inscrutable, nearly dadaist lyrics decried in a schizophrenic array of voices. That Grotus managed to attract a small cult following almost goes without saying, but mass acceptance was probably never an option, so, after being juggled by a number of well-intentioned but equally perplexed independent labels, the group's career (also filled with several EPs and remix sets) finally ground to a halt in the late '90s, along with the alt-rock era's enthusiasm for anything so quirky.

Starting with the slow, menacing title track, moaning keyboards, and random news samples cutting across the
rumbling beat before piling things on a bit,
Luddite makes for a good slice of Grotus at its pre-major-label peak.
Finding its own way around industrial/rock fusions without simply recreating Ministry or Nine Inch Nails, the foursome
explores grinding rhythms without an eye to either thrash metal or dancefloors, Lars Fox's roared vocals calling the
tune (or lack thereof). When he leaves off the treatments, there's a surprising vulnerability that matches the lyrics
about go-nowhere situations and building frustration. Musically, the best is "Shelf Life," with distorted keyboard bursts
and echoing clangs helping flesh out the overall rhythm in a creepy but beautiful fashion.

Download Luddite
mp3 - 128kbps
rar - 14mb

Alternative Press (8/93, p.69) - "...SLOW MOTION APOCALYPSE proves Grotus were holding their best tracks for
their full-length player....the title track is pure sonic devastation that lives up to the imagery of its of the
best 1993 has to offer..."

Click to Download
mp3 - 128 kbps
rar - 43mb


rich said...

Thanks so much!
You wouldn't happen to have Brown, would you?

H. said...

I have the originally released unedited Brown album, before they removed all the illegal samples.
Unfortune, it's on cassette and I've no way to encode it at the moment. Soon! :)

rich said...

That's some really cool music!
I'm amazed at what a cool, underated band Grotus was.
The thing I remember most about Brown was the Jim Jones samples. Creepy!
No worries about ripping it. I know how it is. It'll manifest itself eventually. I'm grateful for what you have to offer.

H. said...

I found out about Grotus via Mr. Bungle. They opened for them way back in the early 90's. Grotus put on an amazing live show. The stage looked like an apocalyptic city. 2 drummers, 2 basses, incredible sound!

Funny you should mention Jim Jones. I have the entire Massacre at Jonestown on cassette also. Soon! :)