Guilty Pleasures: Groovy Shiva EP
I’ve finally got a nice little lull before I have to start caring about midterms and the like, so I’m going to try and crank out as much new music as I can.
Today your getting a band I have mixed feelings about, hence the guilty pleasures title. The band is Groovy Shiva, they hail from France and play a combination of reggae/dub, hardcore and hip-hop. While most people, myself include, would have written this off as a terrible musical idea dreamt up by some half-drunk fratboys, the weird thing is, it all works.
I know there will be those who would raise contention with what is essential a French Limp Cookie/Linkin Park mashup but if your willing to give it a listen through you’ll find a solid collection of crowd-surfing, party rock style anthems that are pretty damn catchy. The only real point of contention I have is them using a hardcore label, since they’re just playing bare-bones groove metal riffs/vocals. It’s not hardcore in any past or present form of the word.
Genre nitpicking aside, Groovy Shiva do an excellent job of hybridizing their three styles, giving each of them plenty of breathing room, instead of just jumbling everything together. The aforementioned groove metal riffage serves as the cement of the foundation. It’s not original, it’s not technical and it’s not pushing any boundaries. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, infectious or groovy, attributes they have in spades.
The riffs are frequently mixed with some turntable work, giving way to the Limp Cookie feel I mentioned. These sections are blended smoothly into the hip-hop or reggae sections, with dropping the pace or the figurative ball. I think the reason they can pull this off is because on their own, all of the elements are extremely simple, which is beneficially when your going to be jumping through styles like these guys do.
The vocals are predominately in French, with some snatches of English thrown in. I personally prefer this, French has a nice inherent musicality and adds a unique flavor to what would have been considerably more bland is sung in only English.
They live up to their name, with all of the tracks having their own unique, yet still unshakable groove. This music isn’t hip, it isn’t fashionable but it’s loud, wreckless and fun as hell, and really, what else do you need?
I get the feeling this will be a love/hate thing for most people, so I’ve got your usual streams below for you to formulate your own opinions. The 8 track EP can be downloaded for a “Name Your Price” option on Bandcamp. Now I’ve got to get to class.