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Von Groove - 1992 Von Groove



ARTIST: Von Groove
ALBUM: Von Groove
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: F2 21924
YEAR: 1992
CD REISSUE: 1997, Bareknuckle (Japan), AVCB-66001 * 2005, Z Records, 04970114

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

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


Background
I can sum up this 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 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.


The Songs
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, and played with conviction. 'Once In A Lifetime', 'Arianne' and 'Love Keeps Bringing Me Home' being prime examples.


In Summary
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 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'. Definitely a band worthy of extra exploration.


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Comments
#1 | sabace on December 25 2007 13:36:20
brilliant lp and the seventh day lp is not far behind!
#2 | richardb on June 15 2008 17:17:17
A fantastic album, rocks hard with some killer hooklines even if the song titles are a bit cliche. I love the ballad 'Arianne' - great vocal performance from Shotton on this one.

Richard B
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 03 2008 07:43:56
I thought this was an amazing album when released, which fully deserved the full five K treatment in 'Kerrang!'
Interestingly, Von Groove seemed pretty much dead in the water with their deal as soon as the album was released. I placed a request with the label in New York to arrange an interview for a potential K! feature and they had pretty much washed their hands of this album the same week of release. No interviews. No press.
#4 | rostoned on July 03 2008 09:47:21
It is very little known that drummer extraordinaire Deen Castronovo (Wild Dogs, Bad English, Hardline, Soul Sirkus, Ozzy Osbourne, Journey) played on this album. He, and not Shotton, drums on all the Richie Zito produced tracks: 'Once Is Not Enough', 'Once In A Lifetime', 'Every Beat Of My Heart' and 'House Of Dreams'.
 
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