Review: Groupoem – “Dirt Church”

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I don’t really know who Groupoem is aimed at, but it probably isn’t anyone I’ve encountered. What the hell is this shit? In all honesty, it was hard to get through. Maybe these words are a bit extreme, but I haven’t been so excruciatingly bored and unenthused about a record maybe ever. Fuck.

The lyrics are mind numbing, the ‘singing’ is atrocious, and the album cover is just about the laziest thing I’ve ever seen. Ugh.

You can’t attribute it to being that it’s punk and maybe I don’t ‘get’ punk. The group’s obnoxious blend of punk and prog rock just doesn’t work. To be completely fair, there is some good playing here and clearly the instrumentalists are talented, but that talent is wasted on this type of music and this album of throwaway tunes.

Groupoem formed back in the early ’80s as Mr. Science, and this incarnation has been on and off since 1986 under the current moniker. Having recently reformed, the group banded together with this comeback: Dirt Church. It’s a messy, sloppy collection that is equally as confusing and lost as it is passionate. I give major props for determination and resiliency, but I can’t imagine why they bother to be totally honest. I can’t imagine ever listening to Dirt Church for sport.

Song titles like “Slimfast” and “Unshriveled” (is that even a word?) show the band’s definite leaning towards humility and not taking the whole music thing too seriously. It’s nice to see a lack of pretension in the music world, especially nowadays. But Groupoem goes too far in that direction with this release coming off as so carefree it’s almost apathetic entirely. The entire thing sounds like one big, long, chaotic jam session that doesn’t go anywhere and all of a sudden ends.

Why is Dirt Church eighteen songs long? Why does this release need to reference so many strange and confusing cliches? The rhyming on “Hall of Shame”, for example is so confusing and embarrassing. ” All day flexin’ / It was your perfection / You would have been a star / Falling from grace / You lost your place … Nowhere to hide / You’re a bloody disgrace / Can’t cover your ass,” vocalist Mr Science sings. Um, okay.

I really don’t know what Groupoem are doing, and I’m sure writing and recording this music makes them very happy. But it’s just so painful to listen to. I really can’t say much in terms of what is redeeming about this release. The best part came when it finished, and I could move on with my life and hopefully not have to ever listen to this again. Considering hor evidently proficient the band members are on their respective music, I wish they would have just made something actually listenable. Ugh.

Listen to Groupoem’s Dirt Church below, courtesy of Groupoem’s BandCamp page Be sure to check out Groupoem’s official site as well as the band’s Facebook and Twitter pages.