A few weeks ago (probably longer than it should have been), a band named Groove Think contacted me about a possible review for their latest album “Intellect”. This Texan band, for some reason, immediately struck me as being a groove metal band, and so I put it off. I’m very sorry, guys. This is a far cry from the loads of crap that are dumped into my inbox daily. This is something much more substantial—more unique. This music is downright beautiful.
Groove Think is a band that combines groove metal (some) with jazz, funk, prog rock, and, well, just about whatever they want. I would say that math rock plays quite a role here, too. A quick survey of their influences answers my burning questions rather easily, as you will find everything from Animals as Leaders and The Mars Volta to Pink Floyd and Dream Theater. This broad spectrum of music is involved in every way in the tunes they play. And aside from some guests here and there, band members Frederick Jackson Jones, Corey Isaacks, and Mike Krieger manage to make all this noise by themselves!
Their new album “Intellect” is indeed very smartly composed. On many tracks, rolling drumbeats meet distortion, great vocals, and pleasant tones. Other tracks, such as my favorite “The Mercenary”, are jazzy to the core, both in compositional structure and in the saxophone use, and sometimes the music even gets down and funky. Other tracks, such as the “epic” called “Memento Mori”, feature gorgeous piano passages. Indeed, most of the songs on “Intellect”, while using the same core grooviness, are differentiated well.
One thing that has impressed me greatly about this album is the band’s sense of restraint. Many of the tracks have loads of space, as the band is fond of very personal melodic vocal interludes or maybe some bass-driven vacuums that help transition and flow. Yet, don’t get me wrong, these guys like to rock, and they like to rock in odd signatures, beefy guitar lines, and jam session vibes. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The band members are all accomplished musicians with amazing individual skills, but also the ability to move as one with the rest of the group. So, while ominous walls of guitar wash past, you can count on perfectly timed drum fills and crazy good bass to tie it all up in a great little package.
So, if you like the sounds of the jam bands and math rock, but you wish they were also groovy, melodic, thoughtful, and sometimes heavy, Groove Think is the band for you. “Intellect” is out now for your listening pleasure, and be sure to follow the band on social media and on tour!