Album Review by Mark Bayross
A dance album with no keyboards? Very clever… And there can be no doubt that, as a former music critic, Californian Scott G (The G-Man), is a very smart dude indeed. Ahem. GRIN GROOVE, while the name of his debut album, is also the term he has given to this beat-driven, satirical electronica, created entirely with guitars and guitar synths.
While the resulting sound has a very 80s Thomas Dolby feel to it, this collection of tracks veers wildly across different genres, taking in everything from funked-up acid jazz to darkwave, all sewn together with G-Man’s campy Bowiesque vocal performance and a smattering of menacing samples of preachers denouncing dance music and the like.
So, while UWANNAGET2TOGETHER and TOUCH WHEN YOU DANCE have a Prince-style robo-funk groove that has seen them go down a storm in clubs from LA to Europe, YOU ARE THE DRUG and PURE SWEET HONEY brood with the kind of taut, gothic menace that regularly puts in an appearance on the dancefloor of Hollywood’s Bar Sinister.
While OBJECT OF DESIRE points to the likelihood that The G-Man is possibly mentally imbalanced, as a serene, trancey first half gives way to some bonkers vocal processing and hysterical preacher samples, tracks like the sturdy SLAM/SLIDE/GO! (described by Parisian goth/industrial DJ Vincent K of Le Rat Mort as “as vicious as early Die Form”) and the storming remixes of SHARI V and TOUCH WHEN YOU DANCE at the end of the album are as exhilarating as they are fun.
So, stylistically all over the shop, but that’s never really a bad thing. Coming across somewhere between Fischerspooner’s take on analog dance and the early EBM of bands like Nitzer Ebb, this is an interesting, unpredictable – and occasionally amusing – listen.
Although not ‘officially’ released until January 2003, you can buy GRIN GROOVE now at http://www.cdbaby.com/gman or check out some tracks on mp3.com.