Album Premiere: Grocer — ‘Numbers Game’

Posted: by The Editor

Photo by Emily Burtner

If you’ve ever seen Grocer’s Audiotree session or listened to the Pixies, you know how dynamic a rotating cast of lead singers can make a band. As with Black Francis and Kim Deal, Danielle Lovier (bass), Cody Nelson (drums), and Nicholas Rahn (guitar) each have their distinctions. Nicholas’ exasperated snarl is the only timbre for the nightmarish circus instrumentation of “Mountain Home,” Cody’s muted strain is all that could communicate the forlorn searching of “Pick A Way,” and Danielle’s bubbling sarcasm is the lone style nimble enough for the jangly and loose “Calling Out.” By shuffling the deck every song, Numbers Game succeeds in translating the unhinged nature of the group’s live shows to the studio. A feat indeed!

In the LED-drenched world of Grocer, turning inward is no escape from the macro. Character flaws are just as fair game as the many monoliths of American life their lyrics touch on. Topics run the gamut from technology dependencies and consumerism to colonization—all without the absolution of the individual. Our lifestyles don’t exist in a vacuum, and Numbers Game is the group’s attempt at digesting the societal schizophrenia, contradictions and all.

Grocer’s second full-length also sees the Philly band leaning into the noise. Guitarist Emily Daly’s solos on this thing embody everything gloriously spastic and atonal of a band like Sonic Youth with her sound’s trudging weight and experimentation. Speaking of the avant-garde, there’s nothing status quo about Grocer’s rhythms. Instrumental breaks and shifts in cadence are constantly pushing the group’s pop sensibilities to the brink before settling into coherent song structures, and it’s a lot of fucking fun to listen to. Coupled with the idiosyncrasies of each lyricist and the nuances of their individual songwriting, the downright zaniness of Numbers Game makes it impossible to ignore.

Numbers Game will be available on Bandcamp via Grind Select May 6th, but you can take an early listen to the full record below:


Chris Burleson | @chris_b_kreme44

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