I can sum up this Von Groove debut album in two words: ‘absolutely monstrous’. One of the hardest rocking albums to come out of Canada for a long while.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Von Groove
ALBUM: Von Groove
SERIAL: F2 21924
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Michael Shotton – vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards * Mladen – guitars, vocals * Matthew Gerrard – bass, keyboards, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Once Is Not Enough * 02 Better Than Ever * 03 Can’t Get Too Much * 04 Once In A Lifetime * 05 Every Beat Of My Heart * 06 House Of Dreams * 07 C’mon C’mon * 08 All The Way Down * 09 Arianne * 10 Slave To Sin * 11 Love Keeps Bringing Me Home * 12 Smaug * 13 Sweet Pain
I can sum up this Von Groove debut album in two words: ‘absolutely monstrous’. One of the hardest rocking albums to come out of Canada for a long while, and for the fact that’s it’s their debut is even more astounding. The trio came together as a merger of two parts centred around singer/drummer Mike Shotton.
On one hand he was working with Mladen Haze as part of Triumph‘s ‘Edge Of Excess’ album, and on the other hand, working with Matt Gerrard on the Regatta album. So to combine the two songwriting ventures, he bought the two parties together, and the chemistry proved to be a volatile cocktail of musical dynamite.
By this stage in his career, producer Richie Zito had obviously learn’t how to get his fingers dirty with harder rockin’ bands after working with the likes of Tyketto and Heart. And working alongside a trio of guys who knew what they wanted in the studio, the Von Groove album had some positives right from the very outset.
With powerful tracks such as the outrageous opener ‘Once Is Not Enough’, ‘Better Than Ever’, ‘Can’t Get Too Much’ and ‘All The Way’ we’re getting a musical treat. Turn these up loud.
You don’t get any respite with ‘Sweet Pain’ and ‘Slave To Sin’, while on their milder efforts, ‘House Of Dreams’ stands out, and is my favourite track on the album. The ballads are sorta cool too. Not wimpy, but played with conviction. ‘Once In A Lifetime’, ‘Arianne’ and ‘Love Keeps Bringing Me Home’ being prime examples.
Due to a case of unfortunate timing, Von Groove the album got lost in the shuffle of the Chrysalis and EMI merger during the early part of 1992, so much so that the band lost their deal without really getting an opportunity to prove their worth. However, they lived to fight another battle.
The band is still going to this day, though Matthew Gerrard has since moved on. They now have many albums under their belt, some of which may be reviewed at some future point in time. For a pointer, try the radio friendly ‘Test Of Faith’ and their recent effort ‘Drivin Off The Edge Of The World’. Von Groove are definitely a band worthy of extra exploration.