“Pick A Way,” the recently released track from Philadelphia-based band Grocer’s pending sophomore record, Numbers Game, is yet another flavor on a sonic menu that continues to diversify and evolve.
The song opens pensively with plaintive vocals and a mid-tempo beat before layering in keyboards and chiming guitars, eventually culminating in two minutes of fuzzed-out, psychedelic bliss. It recalls Sonic Youth with a sweet tooth, or even Cincinnati’s own Why? if raised on My Bloody Valentine instead of whatever slanted stuff inspired Yoni Wolf.
Self-described as a “skronky weirdo quartet” featuring guitarist Emily Daly, bassist/vocalist Danielle Lovier, drummer/vocalist Cody Nelson and guitarist/vocalist Nicholas Rahn, Grocer initially surfaced via 2020’s Little Splash, a hodgepodge of oddball Indie Rock and Pop driven by multiple voices and unpredictable time signatures.
Numbers Game drops May 6 via Grind Select Records, and features nine songs recorded this winter at the band’s basement home studio in Philadelphia. As seems inevitable these days, look for the new material to delve into our contentious cultural and political climate.
“‘Pick A Way’ is an attempt to try and understand the entitlement of men in general and specifically during the insurrection at the Capitol,” Nelson said per the band’s Facebook page when the song dropped. “It was born out of trying to wrap my brain around the increasingly detached line of reason that go hand in hand with toxic masculinity.”
Along those lines, album closer “Comply” is darker and more chaotic than almost anything on their debut; it’s driven by swirling, scuzzy guitars and grit-encrusted female vocals, as if the Pixies reunited with Kim Deal and wrote a song about how the world is collapsing.