Grouplove make a big, happy noise. The sound is fat and melodic;
the hooks memorable; the energy jump-up-and-down-friendly. This
tidy little ensemble comprises : Christian Zucconi/guitar and lead
vocals; Hannah Hooper/keyboards and vocals; Sean Gadd/bass; Andrew
Wessen/more guitars and Ryan Rabin/drums. There are twelve numbers
in the set which, in no time at all, you'll find yourself singing
along to. Production duties fall to Mr Rabin and he does his job well.
Mr Zucconi has an able voice with a nice raspy edge to it. He is well
supported by Ms Hooper who contributes simple but effective harmonies.
(She also contributes a fragile but affecting solo performance on 'Slow').
Things kick off in fine style with opening track 'Itchin' On A Photograph';
a strong tune with a rock solid backbeat and a plaintively hollered vocal
from Mr Zucconi. 'Tongue Tied', which follows, is one of the album's
highlights; a stomping great anthem full of loping bass, sparkling synth
and a chorus to wave your hands in the air to. Generous and uplifting.
The playful, reggae-tinged 'Lovely Cup' is another cracking composition
and 'Spun' is so full of brio that Mrs Wolf twisted an ankle bouncing
around the kitchen (rolling pin in hand) whilst attempting to create some
high-kicking moves to accompany it! 'Betty's Bombshell' slows things down
a tad but not at the expense of melody or harmonic structure. 'Cruel and
Beautiful World' with its almost folksy ambience and charming lyrics opens
out into a full-bodied arrangement which rattled our foundations and closing
track 'Close Your Eyes and Count To Ten' (sporting some splendid howling)
rounds things off beautifully in a blazing haze of reverb-sodden grandeur.
As debuts go Grouplove have delivered a cracker with 'Never Trust A Happy Song'.