If you are a fan of shoegaze you know that there are a couple things that need for it to happen in order for it to be considered shoegaze. First off the vocals needs to be buried in the mix. They should never sit on top of the music and instead should almost just be another element within the mix. The other thing is there usually needs to be a good amount of white noise - the sort that lets everything bleed together.
I bring this up because the self-titled release Grow House from Grow House aka Rob Fiorenzo pushes these shoegaze criteria to the extreme. Is it possible for shoegaze to get too shoegazey? I’m not sure but if he pushed it any further the music could be considered straight up white noise. Luckily, he doesn’t and even though the songs are hard to discern from one another he finds a frequency of tones and textures that should please die hard fans of the genre.
The key to enjoying Grow House is listening to it actively because a lot of the action is happening within the nuances and subtleties. Some of the hidden melodies pop out with repeated listen or simply through a nice pair of headphones. The album starts with “Trace” which begins with a good amount of guitar feedback. I think Fiorenzo starts to sing but it’s so faint that it seems like a ghost of his vocals. It’s a strong song even If I felt that some of the elements like the lead guitar could have been more prominent.
As the album progresses “Peel,“ “Siren” and “Drip” all are woven from the same cloth. That being said “Siren” was a personal highlight that reaches some impressive peaks that are hard to deny. The remaining songs are built off slight degrees of separation. “Rye” rocks out fairly hard at points while “Orchids” slowly pours waves of white noise and distortion over you.
The first time I heard My Bloody Valentine I hated it. It sounded like a mess to my ears. After my friends insisted I listen again and again I finally got it. It took about three months. The reason I mention this is because if you aren't familiar with the genre Grow House is probably not an album you want to test out the waters with. There may be that person who enjoys this right off the bat but usually people need to ease into this genre. Grow House will have more of an immediate appeal to those of us who have had a steady diet of bands like Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.
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