Grimble Grumble - "Grimble Grumble" (Won't Go Flat Records 1998, CD)

From Aural Innovations #5 (January 1999)

From what I can tell (yet another release with virtually no liner notes), Grimble Grumble is a four-piece band from Chicago with duel guitars, and only occasional vocals (female). Pink Floyd fans will recognize the band's name as the character in Syd Barrett's "The Gnome," though musically, GG is really just another laid-back cosmic drone band. I haven't seen a discography, though I know they have a number of other releases, including a split LP with Azusa Plane, and a release on Detroit's Burnt Hair label (Asha Vida's home). This one, whether untitled or eponymous, is a 5-track mini-CD totaling 32 minutes, though since the CD is only indexed as 2 separate tracks, it's hard to know what's what.

There's really not much to say about the music, other than much of it is motionless and stark soundscapes that slowly drift from one subtle tone poem to another. The only significant movement occurs in the very first track ("Let It Take You Where It Will"), which features an active bassline covered with echoey guitar and pleasant atmospherics - Nice start. "Harmonic Transmission" was the track (I think) in which we hear some vocals, but they're quite subdued and nearly buried. This is also about the time when the jangly guitar-drone started to bore me. After a bit more of the same, it really mellows out with "(bermorgenfallsdiesonneschein" which sounds as if it could be straight from Steve Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick. A bit of tribal percussion ("Cut Up #5") quickly wraps things up though, and left me wondering...Isn't there something more?

Grimble Grumble, like so many of the others I've been finding lately, just seem to be content to look upon their instruments as devices for merely providing texture as opposed to rhythm, beat, or kinetic energy of any kind. It's almost like the antithesis of techno music, which has drifted off to the opposite extreme. I'm discovering that I am not a big fan of either, and look to those bands who can strike a better balance, like Asteroid #4 on the textural side and Korai Öröm on the kinetic side.

Contact: Grimble Grumble, 9922 S. Exchange Ave., Chicago, IL 60617-5448; Won't Go Flat Records, P.O. Box 379463 Chicago, IL 60637.

Reviewed by Keith Henderson

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