Ears Wide Open: The Gromble

The Gromble
The Gromble

When older millennials hear “The Gromble,” they’re most likely thinking of the Headmaster with fabulous red pumps adorning his four feet from the 1990’s Nickelodeon cartoon “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.” Now that Laguna Niguel natives The Gromble have finally released a proper debut album, that could all change. It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Spencer Askin (vocals), Stefan Macarewich (drums), Spencer Wiles (keys/sax), and Trevin Eck (bass) since the band’s formation in 2009. With very limited resources, the Gromble have been plagued by a parade of setbacks since they broke ground on a full-length back in 2011. Everything on the album (aside from the live drum set) was tracked at home, with Macarewich handling most of the tracking, production, and engineering until XOQ (Scissor Sisters, Erasure) took over the final mixing and mastering.

The band endured three lineup changes and an overwhelming need for perfection, but “Jayus” is finally here. The title is Indonesian slang for someone who tells a joke so unfunny you can’t help but laugh; it’s a reference to the band’s struggles in creating the album. “Real Sympathy,” the lead single, is another indie pop song that is catchy in nature, drawing comparisons to a less romantic Death Cab for Cutie. The band “wanted to create something that encompassed all of our varying and often conflicting influences, in hopes that it will reach the listener as something both fresh and familiar.” In general, the Gromble lean toward a California synth-pop vibe ripe for West Coast festival picking. They’re currently finishing up a February residency at The Wayfarer. Play those shows in bright red heels, Gromble; then we’ll be impressed.

||| Stream: “Real Sympathy”

||| Also: If you’re into something a little bit different, the Gromble did a live synth version of the song “Jane” in a diner. Watch the video:

||| Live: The Gromble play the Wayfarer tonight and Feb. 29. They also play a show at the Study in Hollywood on Wednesday.