Groovenics

Published on May 8th, 2019

Groovenics

Look, the ’90s were a weird time. The same decade that birthed grunge and flannel ennui also gave us skidz pants and patent leather shoes with lace shoelaces and white-guy super flat tops. There’s just as many cringeworthy ’90s artifacts as there are reasons to raid your relatives’ CD collections.

One of the decade’s most prominent post-grunge movements was nu-metal — in many ways a viable alternative to alternative. And Florida, possibly to no one’s surprise, became a big exporter of music made with a beat box and a Marshall stack — rap-rock sort of lending itself to the bro-down party sensibility under which the Sunshine State labors.

From this hotbed came Groovenics, a strange amalgam of punk, metal and sideshow hip-hop. They along with fellow South Floridians Nonpoint and Darwin’s Waiting Room connected the regional uprising to nu-metal ports north — the Orlando of Gargamel! and the Jacksonville base of this splinter genre’s flagship band, Limp Bizkit.

Fairly or not, the whole scene was tarred with the crowd brutality at Limp Bizkit-headlined Woodstock ’99, and people started backing away. Groovenics signed to the headbanging indie Spitfire Records and lasted until 2001, the year of their self-titled national label debut. (Spitfire closed down in 2006.)

But the yen for making old things new persists. A 2011 reunion at Propaganda in Lake Worth proved they still had admirers. In 2017 Groovenics self-released a new album, “Vacation Metal,” and booked a few shows in support. More recently, the band reports a sold-out gig in Brooklyn, N.Y., and progress on new material to be released by early 2020.

Bandmates today live scattered across the country, a challenge for any comeback bid. But, hey, if they survived South Florida’s band-killing sprawl, a decade apart, line-up shuffles and the (seeming) death knell of nu metal, what’s a few miles between friends? Maybe the mainstream is finally ready for Groovenics, with their thumping, mix-and-match sound. Generation Z is supposedly the one to kill genre altogether. Time will tell if “Booty Barn” was a prophetic look at the future.

Groovenics with Ether, Off the Post and The Covenne play 8pm May 25 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach facebook.com/groovenics/ ~ Tim Moffatt

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