Only formally being a band for two years and commonly selling out shows since their very first show back in 2012, Thumpers have quickly become an indie-pop favourite. Childhood friends Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson make up the UK duo and their debut album Galore is full of buoyant happy tunes that will have you reaching a sugar-like high in no time.
The album starts strong with an impressive explosion of quirky upbeat emotive pop. From the get go, the first track escalates from a long drum and keyboard based instrumental into a loud raucous of horns and drums very similar to that of The Polyphonic Spree and their big sound continues throughout the album’s entirety despite only being a two-man show. “Sound of Screams” and “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)” have expressive drum beats, smooshing layers of synth and rhythmic convulsions that pump the sugar rush straight to the head.
“Now We Are Sixteen” appropriately sits in the middle of the album, defining the youthful theme of the record. The vocals become softer and reflective, and the lyrics ‘wish we were 16’ are delivered in dreamy loops indicating a desire to return to their youth and this message is translated through the whole album with its playful and joyful hooks.
With the first half of the album delivering a dizzying wall of sound while the lyrics take a backseat, this shifts in the second half with the sugar-hyped melodies and falsetto choruses taking the backseat while the lyrics become more prominent This is a shame because their addictive drums and upbeat synth melodies is what they do so well. It feels like they have used all their energy and best ideas in the first half of the album and the second half struggles to maintain the same enthusiasm. Or you could interpret it as an intentional decision to imitate the coming down from a drug high. Either way, a comedown is never as fun as going up.
While this album is full of energy and will accentuate a natural high, the album is essentially a strong sugar pill that is unlikely to go down well on a bad day. You may infact be inclined to throw something such as a shoe at your stereo on such a day, as the hyperactive nature of this record could be overwhelming. But this album is a great pre-party spin to get the adrenaline running as it is a sugar explosion of sound that is super enjoyable while in the right mood.
Review Score: 7.0 out of 10
First published at the Au review. You can view it here.