Que nadie se alarme ni se llame a engaño. No, STEPHEN MALKMUS no se ha pasado a la electrónica más allá de las cuatro pinceladas que aparecen en este nuevo trabajo en solitario de uno de los mejores talentos del Indie en las últimas tres décadas.
Steve, que es un personaje inquieto , ha recuperado temas que no entraron en el último disco publicado con los JICKS y ha añadido algunos cortes que no dejan de ser experimentos con sintetizadores y cajas de ritmo ante la ausencia de banda. Pero es en la segunda parte de este Groovie Denied donde aparece lo mejor: Come get me, Rushing the acid frat, Love the door, Bossvicerate, Ocean of revenge o Grow nothing son temas que podrían aparecer en cualquiera de sus últimos trabajos con su banda original o con la actual. Quienes han querido enterrar el talento de un músico privilegiado antes de tiempo no están de enhorabuena.
“It’s called Groove Denied because Matador insisted on releasing Sparkle Hard, an album Stephen Malkmus recorded with his mainstay supporting band the Jicks, instead of this electronic-infused record in 2018. This back story was revealed in a May 2018 Washington Post profile of Malkmus by Geoff Edgers, an article that perhaps overplayed the label’s rejection of Groove Denied. Matador maintained that its plan was to have the album appear after Sparkle Hard, which was a better record to re-introduce the ex-Pavement leader into the marketplace after a four-year hiatus. All this hoopla around Groove Denied undeniably makes for a good yarn, but it also tends to oversell the weirdness of the album. Recorded alone by Malkmus with the support of a stack of synths, drum machines, and a handful of guitars, Groove Denied doesn’t fundamentally push at the boundaries of his music. Whatever electronic influence there is here, it’s grounded in a stylized nod toward the pioneering, eerie analog experimentalism of the post-punk era — like a sound that’s remembered more than re-created. The first side of Groove Denied leans heavily into this aesthetic, cresting with the Krautrock pulse of “Viktor Borgia Prime” and culminating with the murmur of “Forget Your Place.” All this heightened tension slides away as soon as the tightly wound “Rushing the Acid Frat” opens the second side. Reminiscent of the skewed pop littered on Pavement B-sides in the mid-’90s, “Rushing the Acid Frat” kicks off a side of songs where the synths are accouterments to guitars instead of the other way around. While these five songs fail to deliver on the promised experimentalism of pre-release hype, they are nevertheless prime Malkmus — lovely, off-kilter pop graced with off-hand lyricism evident in both the lyrics and melody. If he needed to go through the stilted robotic futurism of “Belziger Faceplant” to get to this suite of songs, the whole enterprise was worth the experimentation” (AllMusic)