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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amygdala - Amygdala – The brutal apocalyptic menace of the opener “Utrecht” could be described as a four-way collision between Univers Zero (that “chamber” sound), Magma (the rumbling, growling basses), Present...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues