Thumpers – Galore

by Jack Reid

Thumpers’ unique blend of stompy indie and swelling, joyous vocals has been knocking around for a while now. After our Introducing post flagged up the existence of this duo, their ability to write infuriatingly catchy hooks has since meant that they’ve never been out of my head for more than a couple of days. Having seen them live in a Chvrches support slot, I can confirm that they deliver on the satisfyingly thumpy happiness on stage - with the added fullness of a brass section and backing vocals. With the strength of their initial offerings and live efforts, this album release stood to decide whether or not Thumpers were going to be the next big thing.

After a suitably big introduction track, Marvel, the album opens with what are arguably its three strongest tracks. The snappy percussive elements in Dancing’s Done’s verses, reminiscent of something like Bat For Lashes’s Prescilla, are good foreboding for the infectious energy of the chorus. Characteristically of Thumpers, the lyrics of the chorus are so layered with crowd vocals that they are relatively indistinct, but the clout behind them, and the catchy melody, are not.

In line with a marked trend over the last year (see Bombay’s Carry Me or London Grammar’s Metal & Dust), Sound Of Screams makes use of some warped vocal samples. Wasting no time, Sound Of Screams lands with an opening chorus. The lead out of this chorus is particularly catchy once you’ve heard it full pelt in a live venue, and it’s unfortunate that the power isn’t so well represented on the record. It seems that instead of feeling powerful, the fullest moments on this track simply sound crowded, washed out.

The stand-out track is Unkinder (A Tougher Love), unfortunately. As the least novel of the tracks on the album, I was almost hoping that it would fade into insignificance amongst other new and shiny tracks. Of course, the lurching rhythm and emphatic chorus of Unkinder still stands out from the rest of the release. Even more disappointingly, it seems that the album rapidly tapers off from then on. The last five tracks on this album are an indistinct shiny and loud blur. It’s nearly impossible to pull out one track from the rest in this confusing mess at the close of Galore.