Bo Gritz - 'Chroma' Digital
Bo Gritz - 'Chroma' Digital
Phoenix-like in their return after nearly half a decade out on the side-lines, the long-awaited arrival of Bo Gritz’ debut album 'Chroma', set for release in June via cult indie label Glasshouse records (Mandrake Handshake; For Breakfast) details something akin to a glorious second coming.
Forming in 2015 by Finn Holland (guitar/vocals) and Benjamin Salt (bass), Bo Gritz took for their own a name which Salt found in work of Jon Ronson Gonzo journalism that simply “looked good written down”. Their early years were a bustle of activity; braces of EP's and singles, prolific gigging stints across London and UK with the likes of Black Midi, HMLTD, 404 Guild and Bo Ningen. But as drummer Max Goulding got increasingly pulled away from the band by his day job as a touring sound engineer - and as the pandemic started to rear its disruptive head, things began to teeter to a halt.
And yet. “Covid was actually a really good thing for us, relatively speaking” explains Salt. “Quite quickly into the pandemic, when we were already just super bored of being in the flat - no shows, no pubs, no nothing - we were like “maybe we should just try and get together and see what happens. Just play again, and write.”
The opportunity to devote themselves to doing just that came via a Gumtree post from the Railway Tavern in Tulse Hill. The South London pub/music venue was advertising their renovated beer cellar to rent cheaply as a rehearsal space. So, Bo Gritz moved in. It was here where they formulated the bulk of what would become Chroma, despite the noise complaints from the long-suffering bar staff upstairs.
As Holland elegantly puts it, ”The Railway was the boot that kicked the album up the arse.” Feeling “straightjacketed” by the guitar, drum and bass motions of their previous incarnation - the time and space the Railway afforded them helped the trio unbind their creative shackles. That, and the introduction of a new weapon - the Electron Digitakt drum machine and sampler - led them towards a different way of songwriting. Holland started off experimenting with Lana Del Ray vocal samples. Goulding would emerge into the Railway with more “weird glitchy shit” from his Digitakt around which the band could forge new material.
Bristling with the eeriness of those basement spaces in which it was conceived, 'Chroma' brings a frenzied half hour of pulsating industrial rock. Fitting alongside the likes of contemporaries LICE and Gilla Band, it sounds as if Snapped Ankles’ pounding grooves had been masticated by a digital meat grinder, spat out with such jet force as to shed megabytes and pixels as it hurtles through the sonosphere.
Typified by such captivating aggression, 'Chroma' is a product of a kind of auto-destructive artistic method, combative by its very definition. Bo Gritz build their songs through degenerating actions: cutting, distorting and glitching samples or basslines; the very lyrics Holland devises by splicing up phrases from found texts - gossip magazines, articles on a murder or washing machine manuals.
Finn Holland - Guitar, Vocals, Synths
Max Goulding - Drums, Percussion, Synths
Benjamin Salt - Bass
Recorded, mixed and produced at Hermitage Works Studios and Coldbath Street by Max Goulding and Nathan Ridley
Mastered by Doug Shearer
Artwork by Finn Holland
Bo Gritz / Glasshouse Records 2023
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- Reflective Skin
- Into Yr Will
- Stored In The Sky
- Picture of the Present