Exposé Online banner

Network (Groon) — Refusal to Comply
(Progressive International PRO 050, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

Refusal to Comply Cover art

Guitar, bass, and drums. Groon is a three-piece instrumental outfit from the UK with a grungy free-wheeling style that owes as much allegiance to jazz and fusion as it does to rock. You might recall "Groon" was a track from King Crimson's Earthbound, and in fact that might be a good starting point for a description of where these guys are at, yet a better comparison might be part Djam Karet, part Firemerchants, part Xaal. They're one of those bands – you're never sure if the material is composed or improvised; it sounds too tight to be improvised yet too free and energized to be composed. There are some familiar names here: drummer Steve Clarke and guitarist Tim Crowther are both (ex?) members of Network. Bassist Algy Ward was a one-time member of the 70s punk group The Damned. Like Ruins, Ward and Clarke alone are a formidable enough unit to be a band by themselves, their relentless energy drives each of the album's thirteen tracks. Crowther's howling guitar tones and staccato lead runs work well with the rest of the system, yet – unlike Firemerchants – he frequently lays back and lets the other two run the show. All material is written by various combinations of band members, except for a smokin' cover of Mahavishnu's "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters." My only gripe is that there's only so much territory you can cover within this type of framework, and seventy minutes of it is a bit much for one sitting; I tire long before the album is over. Still, this is one impressive debut.

Note: This album was later (1999) reissued with the band name Network.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Tim Crowther, Network / Conglomerate / Groon

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

III Milenio - Aliança dos Tempos – Here's an example of where vocals can be quite innovative and then subsequently make you wince. The album is obviously a concept album and in the vein of Ange, the vocals are theatrical often being...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues