It went like this: Prior to this year´s SXSW convention in Austin we stumbled over the name Pleasant Grove while researching the hundreds of bands that were scheduled to play and that we never heard off. Made a mental note to go and see their show, which conflicted with Hazeldine´s gig, however. We bought their self-titled debut (which was released in early 2000 on indie Last Beat Records) at Waterloo Records, saw the gig, were impressed and ran through the rain to make it to the Hazeldine show (which was outdoors, much to our dismay). The self-titled 5 track CD never left our office player in the following weeks and we soon struck a deal with the Dallas based band. They quickly entered the studio to record an additional 5 tracks to add to the european release, the first with their new steel player Joe Butcher. The result is an exceptional debut by a still very young band (22 to 23 years old), one that is both shimmering, majestic pop and lethargic country, that oozes the down-and-out ache of Texas country as well as the sonic outburts of an electric Neil Young, the Flaming Lips or an out of control Alex Chilton.
Pleasant Grove consists of vocalists / guitarists Marcus Striplin and Bret Egner, bassist Tony Gattone, Joe Butcher (ex UFOFU) on steel guitar and a revolving crew of drummers. The band also frequently performs with a cellist and horn player.
"An exceptional band... Pleasant Grove delivers some of the most dense satisfying tunes round think Low era Bowie on tranquilizers." (Dallas Observer)
"Pleasant Grove's debut album evokes sounds as diverse as Bedhead, Pavement and Wilco, all the while showing they know how to rock too." (Audiogalaxy.com)