Brooklyn noise-pop trio Grooms releases Rejoicer via Death By Audio in October. We thought energetic lead track “Dreamsucker” evoked Sonic Youth. This previously unreleased cover of “Wicked Game” offers a nod to a less likely artist. We asked guitarist/vocalist Travis Johnson about playing Chris Isaak.
Why’d you cover “Wicked Game”?
We covered it because I just started playing these chords that sounded close enough to it in practice and [drummer] Jim [Sykes] said “we could maybe cover that” so we just started jamming on it. I’ve always thought it was one of the most magical chord progressions ever.
How’d you arrive at the arrangement?
The arrangement is fairly similar to the original in terms of structure but it has those bookends of guitar fuzz which was just kinda this sound we all liked and thought it would be a cool mask, so that when it went into the song proper it would be like “oh yeah! ‘Wicked Game.’” Emily [Ambruso] plays the slide guitar line on bass because there are only three of us, and that’s such an integral part of the song, that slinky melody.
Did you ever watch The Chris Isaak Show?
Never saw The Chris Isaak Show, but ridiculously I’ve seen him on Friends.