Thursday, September 06, 2007

Groop Dogdrill - Gracelands

I have absolutely no idea why i've never posted about Groop Dogdrill before, considering they were one of my favourite acts of the early 2000s, and are the sort of quickly forgotten but great band that I really like to talk about.

How to describe them? Well they pushed out a sort of angry Nuggets like popped up grunge ala Mudhoney, all rumbling basslines and vicious lyrical asides (or perhaps even Supersuckers, sharing some of the same Elvis and Americana based obsessions), but put through a Northern working mens club filter; all boxing clubs, las vegas and fighting whippets. Another comparison could be the Jesus Lizard, check out that nasty creeping guitar and bass attack on bside Spoiler (get it below!). Here's a list of why they never made it:
  • Unwieldy name
  • Not very young
  • Not very pretty
  • Crappy labels
  • Onstage violence
  • Songs about sex, cigarettes and the ugliest of failed relationships.
Perhaps the only great band ever to come out of Doncaster, they formed around the early 90s but gained no recognition until they won a local Battle Of The Bands. Soon after that they recorded a limited debut 7" and went on tour with also missed brit rockers Cable. Gracelands was their first proper single, coming out on the EXP label, but when EXP folded they had to wait another 2 years for Mantra to release their debut album Half Nelson, a thrilling battering ram of pissed off working class violence that gets me going EVERY DARN TIME. Tours of the UK and Europe with Carter USM, A and Therapy? followed, and critical support came from both the NME/Melody Maker and the Kerrang camps of the UK press. After tours of America and more singles, the band completed their second album Every Six Seconds and released it in 2000. Despite it being a far more mature and interesting album, it was a financial bomb and the band were dropped from Mantra a week before it came out. Ouch! Despite some more tours, one of which I saw them on and was HUGELY impressed, they split.

The band did get together briefly towards the end of 2001 to play a few more gigs with a new drummer, but really things weren't the same, and since then it's all been quiet in the Groop camp, with all band members doing their own thing or joining other bands. It's really a shame, as they had a sort of vicious anger that McClusky were able to do with more longevity and slightly more success around the same time. It's notable that the band had planned on recording their second album with Steve Albini, and the inter band tensions that arose from the decision not to apparently had a lot of influence on their demise. Anyway, hope you like the songs!

Groop Dogdrill - Gracelands
Groop Dogdrill - Spoiler
Groop Dogdrill - Eyelash Trauma


Anonymous Ido Schacham said...

Good stuff, cheers.

8:58 am, September 07, 2007  
Blogger Ass Hat said...

great, great band. surprisingly, really polite chaps, too.

10:39 am, September 07, 2007  
Blogger daniel! said...


-10 indie points Summers...

12:10 am, September 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know that ex-Dogdrill guitarist Pete Spiby is now the manager of Youthmovies, 65daysofstatic and The Mirimar Disaster!

4:37 pm, September 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable.. my faves.. absolutely blinding band!!

8:32 pm, September 10, 2007  
Blogger Neal Emmerson said...

Great band, saw them plenty of times round Leeds between 1998-2000and they never dissapointed me. Top blokes as well always had time to speak to people and were dead nice, Hug once bought me a pint for his troubles just cause someone botherd to talk to him.

3:21 pm, December 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw 'em loads of times and they were damn good. Your assessment of why they never made it is pretty astute, but I'd suggest that crappy labels is the main reason with bad timing a close second - the rest wouldn't have mattered so much had they had decent support at the right time. EXP were OK but a went bust pretty early on. My understanding is that when Mantra signed them, instead of continuing the momentum they'd started to develop by touring and releasing a couple of singles, they wanted them to start over from scratch. So rather than releasing another single, getting a decent support slot on a high profile tour then putting out an album they ended up going back to the toilet circuit for the next couple of years, putting out a bunch of under-promoted singles and finally releasing their first album about 18 months too late to catch the wave of publicity they'd generated up to late '96. This explains why most of Half Nelson was recorded before EXP went bust in '96 but didn't come out until '98. Record companies, eh? Set o' bastards!

11:00 pm, December 29, 2007  
Blogger lord said...

This was a great, great band, they meant a right lot to Doncaster at the time, as authentic a product of their (our) environment as coal dust on your lungs or a split lip on a satdi neet

4:41 pm, October 08, 2010  

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