Music Review: The Groke

by Danni Gillespie

Dedicated 2 U is the first full length release from a man with many names and aliases; The Groke, AKA Alexander Sokolow, AKA The Captain (one of six nautical loving musicians that makeup Tugboat Captain.)

This project is a step away from band-life for The Captain to create his solo album. 'Dedicated 2 U', the title track of this new solo venture, eases listeners in with simple cheerful guitar riffs and melodious keyboard which resonate with familiar indie cliché. With a sound not dissimilar to early 2000s indie this track tells the story of a pining lover. Following closely is the next chapter in this story of love gone by in the form of a 35 second track. Memorandum manages to convey the emotions of nostalgia tied to a past relationship in just over half a minute - an impressive feat for such a short track.

The Groke toys with more meta subject matter. From 'Dedicated 2 U', “are you listening to this album I wrote for you”; to the upbeat 1000 songs “I wonder will you hear or will you just try to steer clear”; to all of these yous are about you “I’m super scared about what you may think of this” – is the Groke is talking of the musician/ listener as much as describing the world of a relationship gone by? The eight tracks complicated on this album reflect the author’s experiences as a partner, bandmate and musician. The tracks are honest and humbling talking of love and loss, expressing emotions many can relate to. With a style not dissimilar from the charming indie sounds of Noah and the Whale, Dedicated 2 U is a simple yet honest solo adventure from The Groke.

Catch the full band on July 31st at Mr Wolf's (Bristol). On August 4th they make their 3rd triumphant return to the fields of Langaland Festival.

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