The title of Thumpers’ debut album is definitely fitting. Galore has synths, drumbeats, and feel-good harmonies ‘in abundance’ as the title suggests. However, if you’re not into experimental synth-pop, then this may not be the album for you.
Album opener, ‘Marvel’, sets Galore up to be a work of art. Though whether it’s an abstract or a masterpiece, I’ll leave to you. Marcus Pepperell’s vocals shimmer over the gentle chords and subtle riffs which slowly ease us into the album, with a dreaminess reminiscent of a Surrealist painting.
As ‘Marvel’ builds, we’re whipped into a gentle frenzy which leads us to the introduction of singles ‘Dancing’s Done’, ‘Sound of Screams’ and ‘Unkinder (A Tougher Love)’. Whilst each of these are strong stand-alone singles – with ‘Sound of Screams’ being Thumpers’ breakthrough track – it does feel as if they’ve been hastily thrown together in order to keep fans happy, which is a shame as their order detracts from the overall feel of the album.
Galore really starts to ‘Come on Strong’ from ‘Unkinder’ onwards, with ‘Now We Are Sixteen’ and ‘Tame’ being stand out tracks and demonstrating Thumpers’ versatility. ‘Now We Are Sixteen’ features vocalists from Summer Camp, and encapsulates the difficulties of dating and love as we get older, making you feel nostalgic for those teen romances with its lilting melodies, whilst ‘Tame’ shows Thumpers at their catchiest. John Hamson Jr.’s drums drive it forward, and the ‘homina homina’ chant is bound to get jammed in your head.
Galore achieves some very clever things, particularly in ‘The Wilder Wise’. It is far more upbeat with a tempo which really suits the duo; but it is the lovely hint back to the title track ‘Galore’ with its choral-style harmonies and which really distinguishes ‘The Wilder Wise’ from many of the other songs on Galore.
The album is rounded off nicely by ‘Together Now’, a synth-filled delight which feels as if it wouldn’t be out of place in a film about the Olympics or some other major sporting event. The heavy drums compliment lyrics like ‘Get yourselves another plan. The future’s ours, together now’ perfectly, and the only real complaint is that the song ends so abruptly.
A thumping good debut effort, which will hopefully leave its mark on the music world this summer.
Galore will be released 19/5/2014 through True Say Recordings/Sony UK/RED.