Exposé Online banner

Grok — Bubbles
((Not on label) no#, 1997, CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 1999-01-01

Bubbles Cover art

Grok is a rather interesting product of the ever-interesting New Zealand music scene. My first reaction to this album was that it reminded me of Sonic Youth (one of my all time favorite bands), but not in the same way as such bands usually do. Most bands will appropriate Sonic's wall of feedback guitar (Live Skull is a good example) and explore the realms of noise, but Grok seems more in touch with more recent Sonic material: slowly bubbling tension grooves with oddly tuned guitars that threaten to freak out but rarely do. That is not to say this is a Sonic Youth clone; it's just the closest reference point I could find to describe this atypical brand of progressive rock. In fact, if you take Sonic Youth's latest album A Thousand Leaves, add a few keyboards and other prog elements, and take away some of the punkish edge, you would have something pretty close to Grok. It's a good long album, too; close to 60 minutes, with all track names either containing the word “Grok” or containing a time of day (ie., “Grok One,” “New Grok Two,” “8:20 18/02/97,” and so on). There's a fair amount of variety among the pieces too, although the avant-chug-drone is definitely prevalent. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Grok

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anekdoten - Vemod – Anekdoten is a new four piece from Sweden. This album was recorded early this year, and from what I've heard, they have been highly revered by, among others, their countrymen Änglagård....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues