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

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Van der Graaf Generator - Real Time – Impossible reunions by not-so-spring chickens are now becoming fashionable. This is due in part to both Cream and Van der Graaf Generator taking the live stage the same week for surprisingly inspired...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues