Release Date: Jul 12, 2011
Record label: Kanine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The nostalgia-heavy lyrical bent of some songs can read either sweet or cringe-worthy, depending on your birth date and sensitivity to sentiment. The most glaring example comes in the first line of the title track as Johnson slowly croons "Seventeen is the whole world/In my room the Smiths and girls." There's no doubting the reality of the line, but it might be a little too relatable a reference, tipping over from legitimately awkward teenage loneliness to annoying ubiquity. This is the line that Grooms walk in many ways throughout Prom.
Travis Johnson and Emily Ambruso of Brooklyn's Grooms met on long-passé social networking site Friendster, according to a label bio. Please, don't hold that against them. The band's genesis may be purely millennial, but its music is firmly situated in the 1990s. Grooms' 2009 debut, Rejoicer, slightly recalls the shambling rawness of early Modest Mouse; for the follow-up, Prom, Grooms dive headlong into the sweeping erotic confusion that permeated the dreamier sphere of 90s alt-rock.
The name of this band is Grooms, and the name of this album, Grooms’ second and Kanine debut, is Prom. Mull that a second. Listening to — and egad: keeping track of — a lot of music can sometimes feel like a meaningless lexical whirlwind (your Deers hoof and hunter, your Crystals Antlers and Castles, your Black Nouns amirite), but that band-album combo is still one heck of a conflation.
Grooms have encapsulated the emotion and anguish of the teenage years with their sophomore release, Prom. The Brooklyn-based noise rock group uses their distortion and fuzz to match the highs and lows of growing up. Turning to lead vocalist/guitarist Travis Johnson’s own hellish experience at prom, the album’s moody undercurrent is a suited match.