Coming to Terms: a special journey for The Grove
Words by Corey Mouch
There’s something about The Grove that just can’t be captured on a record—and believe me, that’s a great thing. Fans of RHCP will feel right at home when pressing play for their first listen through the band’s Coming to Terms EP, which was released January 27th. An organic sound filled with fun guitar solos, sing-along choruses and a tight rhythm section make The Grove’s discography worth a listen for any fan of 1990-2000’s rock. However, the Cincinnati 4-piece band takes things a step further with an interesting evolution of the typical rock/funk sound with its smartly-layered pianos, organs, and synths as well as tasteful vocal layering in many of its key tracks.
Aside from music, the members of The Grove have been through a lot—yet their EP Release Show at The Northside Tavern in Cincinnati indicates that their live presence is even more exciting. The band’s EP Release Show at The Northside Tavern in Cincinnati was an example of this, as it was both emotionally charged and exciting. Shortly before releasing the EP at the show, brothers and band members Adam and Matt Forsthoefel lost their father, who heavily influenced their dedication to music throughout their lives. Coming to Terms deals with the experiences the members of the band have faced in the wake of hardship, and it shows their remarkable resilience throughout.
In front of a full house of friends, family, and fans to support the band and their loved ones, The Grove released its excellent new EP with emotion and love—there was something special in the air that night. The band itself is special in many ways, both on and off the stage. With the release of Coming to Terms, The Grove has shown an incredible dedication and care in crafting a masterful effort that shines both on the record and in concert.
“It’s amazing the level of support my family has,” frontman Adam Forsthoefel tells me graciously. “You could see it in the crowd… You could feel the love in the room.” The sincerity of the band and its fans alike burned bright that night, culminating in a truly powerful event. “In time of need, people truly arrive,” Adam said into the mic at the show. After the show, he elaborated, explaining “When I’m down, music picks me up… This show was the most concrete example of that.”
The truth of that statement was as profound as ever during the concert, which felt like hundreds of people gathered together to support something bigger than themselves. “Most of the time, when I’m down I play music in my room alone. This time, it felt like I had an entire room full of people watching and feeling the same way I did.” Unlike any other show, the crowd truly felt connected that night, making the release of Coming to Terms as special as any local show I’ve ever seen as a music lover.
As for the EP itself, Coming to Terms boasts unmistakably catchy tunes like “Anna Lee” and “Bring You Up,” while also diving into more experimental tracks like “Either Way,” which meshes a classic garage-rock feel with unique pianos, deep organs, and sweeping synth layers from keyboardist Matt Forsthoefel. Interesting layers like these give this track, as well as the entire EP a natural fullness that doesn’t need futuristic production techniques to resonate with listeners. In fact, it’s quite clear throughout The Grove’s discography on Spotify beginning with 2012’s Procuriosity and 2015’s Pseudothump that the band has honed in on a foundationally organic, yet constantly-improving sound that takes a big stride on Coming to Terms.
From the first note of opener “Bring You Up” through the explosive ending of “Anna Lee,” Coming to Terms steps into genres like ‘90’s rock, Chili Peppers-esque funk, and even reggae, giving nearly every traditional music-lover something to enjoy. The Forsthoefel brothers’ guitar and piano work fits nicely overtop of the heartbeat set by drummer Jeff Voegle and bassist Matt Holt’s dancey rhythms.
As for the future, the members of The Grove are committed to building a community and a family around their music, and playing for a good cause. “Music has never been about the money,” Forsthoefel says openly. “It’s a form of expression that I love more than anything… And if I can make a difference in the world for something I believe in, I’m more than happy to.”
This, Adam says, was the fuel behind the idea of organizing The Grove’s annual Rock ‘n’ Revival for a Cure festival, set for it’s 2nd go-around this March. After being shaken by the loss of their father to a rare form of brain cancer, the band has decided to make a difference by organizing an event featuring great music from over 20 Cincinnati bands, with all proceeds set to be donated to the UC Brain Tumor Center.
All the while, the band and its family remain strong, passionate, and dedicated to their cause through this difficult time. “People search for a lifetime for this feeling,” Forsthoefel says of his passion for music following the recent events. “They feel the need to travel to some exotic place or something for that feeling. All I need is a stage and some embracing listeners, and I’m so thankful to have that.”
Be sure to check out The Grove’s lead single “Bring You Up” over at CincyMusic, with the full Coming to Terms EP set to release on Spotify in the coming days.