Groan Boy/Bridal Party

Groan Boy

What in the World Happened to Chingy // Big Boat Records

You are idling at the last red light in your Acura. You jam the filter of a Du Maurier into the ashtray as the setting sun lays an intense glow onto the vinyl siding of the Petro Canada. The hum of engines of the idling vehicles syncs together and for a brief moment, the Dodge Ram, Plymouth Voyageur and your Acura strike a rhythmic balance on the asphalt in the concentrated orange fuzz. The light turns green, and you press the gas. As you approach the city limits, building makes way for birch trees and hazy fields. You buzz and pop to the bop and fuzz, your levels jump, pupils dilating.

You arrive and park next to a boulder where wisps of grass sprout through the tracks in the gravel. You step outside your car and stretch, flipping a bad dime into the air. Along comes your stellar girlfriend, shorts so delightfully short, little stars emblazoned onto them, curtsying slightly as she approaches you. You raise your eyebrows in amazement.

Your attention suddenly turns to an adolescent boy with a stick and a ripped t-shirt, throwing stones and chewing on the ends of leaves. You are transfixed as he transforms between man and boy with every movement in the illusory haze of dusk. You grab your girl by the hand and head slowly up the dunes, rambling chemical thoughts as she rubs your palm with her thumb. “There’s a tapestry you’re in, where it ends you can begin,” she says, and you are blown away because she always outdoes you so effortlessly.

Your rat-tailed best friend comes ambling over the hills, making his way to you with a familiar lope. You watch him with ridiculous smiles of glee, your hearts swelling. “Hey fuckers,” he says with a sly grin. You respond with a lazy middle finger his way. His eyes are sedated and baked. You watch a dirt bike rider revving and puttering as the sun lowers into the horizon behind the gravel mounds. He descends a hill and hits a bump, clearing a good 8 feet off the jump, and lands with a trickster’s ease, veering around the base of another, out of sight. The sun vanishes. You three sit on the sandy peak to smoke. You press your nose softly to her temple and rub little circles. Your friend speaks in his placid voice. He says, “Groan Boy’s amazing debut album runs the gamut of an ethereal evening at the sand dunes on the edge of town.”

- JD Ormand


Bridal Party

Too Much // Kingfisher Bluez

Bridal Party’s debut record Too Much is a tightly written collection of songs that showcases the best that pure pop music is capable of. This brand of pop lands decidedly in the more danceable category; the whole album is indebted to a certain kind of 70’s disco/soul songwriting that Bridal Party tops with unexpected harmonic and rhythmic flourishes. The production (led mostly by bassist Lee Gauthier, but produced jointly with the whole band) is top notch throughout, with a tape drenched analog warmth that sounds like they’re borrowing from a dream-pop idiom. What’s most appealing about this record is the way the style of production creates hummable hits from intimate and vulnerable content. If you imagine songs like “When I’m Naked” or “Speakeasy” stripped down to just vocal and guitar, it becomes clear that the quality of the melody and lyrics would be enough to carry these tracks even without the cornucopia of sonic delicacies on offer. The close collaboration between the production and songwriting allows Bridal Party to have their cake and eat it too, with a final product that has a real capacity to make your feet move and hands clap, while still remaining authentic and personable.

- Sean Newton