‘Find Me A Cloud’ is The Grogans‘ fourth album, and it shows a band that is willing to push sonic boundaries and explore a range of sounds, all grounded in a common thread of insouciance and swagger. The band says of the album:
‘Find Me A Cloud’ has felt a little different from other albums we’ve written in that we had an idea of where we wanted to take it. No concepts or themes but more of an auditive aesthetic that we all dived headfirst into
It feels a little truer to ourselves and nostalgic than previous albums. We wanted to draw inspiration from the past whilst never trying to recreate it.
On first blush and past experience, you might think that The Grogans are a bunch of good time Charlies with surfing, licentiousness and a little chemically induced assistance on their mind. Certainly tracks like ‘Hey Ma’am’ and ‘Lay Back’ have a certain 12 bar blues hedonist boogie stomp redolent of Status Quo. Of the former, the band says:
The lyrics describe a bad relationship where the man is expecting his partner to do things he’s perfectly capable of doing himself for him. And although the lyrics don’t get that far the story goes that she boots him out the door and lives her best life without him.
Other tracks have the kind of bluster you associate with The Hives – a cheeky demeanor with an arched eyebrow and bell-bottomed trousers (‘I Cannot Read Your Mind’).
‘Overheat’ then takes us to a tambourine-ridden sixties rattle and shake with a Brian Jonestown Massacre chaotic clatter that continues with the cinematic ‘Heads In The Sand’ with its psychedelic rainbow hue that also has elements of Oasis mixed in with The Verve – a veritable sonic psych typhoon – ebbing and flowing with massive melodies and a wry smile.
‘Can’t Stand is an anthemic triumph with a vast endless horizon and a shuddering fuzz running through it, threaded with a degree of melancholy and regret. A sort of collision between the Stones and Burt Bacharach. The Grogans’ Quin Grunden says of the track:
I went down a little bit more of a personal route with this track lyrically. I sometimes find myself being the person I want to be in my head, but when it comes to a conversation I’m not able to convey the side of myself that I want to show.
‘I Need You’ returns to the psychedelic-tinged boogie sound – low-fi buzz – whereas ‘Nowhere To Be’ blasts through with a heavy thunderous beat with an insistent drive. ‘Stay High’ takes a deep intake of something illicit in a glam stomping beat with a touch of country twang hanging on the edges like fringes off a suede jacket. ‘I’m Not Sure’ turns up the pop dial with its perky high stepping beat and mountainous chorus.
The album ends with ‘Day Dreamed’, a calypso-infected bop with a bit crowd chanting, a fitting dreamy, hazy finale with a Hawaiian guitar burnish that ends with an instrumental outro that is slightly intoxicating.
Like UK’s The Coral. The Grogans are a band that dabbles in sounds, genres and styles – experimenting with tone while maintaining a low-fi thrum. There is something uniquely antipodean in the process – an overall sense of bacchanalia, sunshine and drifting coastal waters, a carefree existence in a Kombi van on the open road. Very refreshing.
The Grogans are currently on an ambitious UK/European tour – details below.
‘Find Me A Cloud’ Europe/UK Tour
18 October – The Pitcher – Dusseldorf, Germany
19-20 October – Left of the Dial Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands
23 October – Lux – Hannover, Germany
24 October – Sankt Peter – Frankfurt, Germany
25 October – Club Stereo – Nuremberg, Germany
26 October – Kliff – Aarau, Switzerland
27 October – Gannet – Basel, Switzerland
29 October – La Fosse – Laval, France
31 October – Jokers Pub – Angers, France
2 November – Grenswerk – Venlo, Netherlands
3 November – Trix – Antwerp, Belgium
4 November – De Zwerver – Oostenende, Belgium
5 November – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
6 November – Bodega – Nottingham, UK
8 November – Two Palms – London, UK
9 November – Rainbow – Birmingham, UK
10 November – Sidney and Matilda – Sheffield, UK
14 November – Bobiks – Newcastle, UK
15 November – Canvas 2 – Manchester, UK
Tickets via thegrogansband.com
The Grogans are Quin Grunden, Jordan Lewis & Angus Vasic.
Feature Photograph: Dylan Jardine