Release Date: Feb 11, 2014
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
‘Galore’ is the perfect title for Thumpers’ debut album - joyous, showy and maybe even a little cheesy, it sees in a sound that’s teeming with youthful energy. Thumpers bring to music what a toddler brings to perspective when they see the world for the first time. Everything feels new, previously unencountered by Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr..
Having skirted the periphery of the music scene for a few years, British duo John Hamson Jr. and Marcus Pepperell—who first found fame as two thirds of disbanded also-rans Push Tiger Tail—found themselves at a dead end. In an effort to turn things around the pair began collaborating on new songs which took musical cues from Hamson's expansive approach to drumming and took lyrical inspiration from their lifelong friendship, the results of which form their hugely self-assured debut Galore.
If Thumpers put on a party you just know there’d be a piñata. Since emerging from the ashes of Pull Tiger Tail, Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson, Jr. have churned out sherbert-coated joy like a pair of alt-pop Willy Wonkas. Combining the pomp and ceremony of Talking Heads with Everything Everything’s rhythmic prowess, their early EPs were as jubilant as they were inventive.
Barely audible from the surging bed of instruments arrive the first lyrics on Thumpers debut full-length, Galore: “Stay young.” Cast in the grammatical imperative, this edict sums much of the contents of the record. The lyrics, contained in the appropriately titled song “Marvel” reflect the joy, the lush beauty, and, frankly, the insouciance of Thumpers optimism trails through the global pop universe. Sounding at times like Local Natives, at others like the best Dirty Projectors songs that never were, the band marshals songs of size, scope and heart-pumping sanguinity.
The neatly primped pop of U.K. duo Thumpers took shape when boyhood friends Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson, Jr. started exchanging song ideas via e-mail around 2011. It was only a matter of time before a few of these ideas congealed into early tracks like the otherworldly swaggering anthem "Unkinder (A Tougher Love)" and the glitchy vocal hooks of "Sound of Screams." Both these tracks are highlights of Thumpers' debut full-length, Galore, but far from the only prime material on what ends up being a consistently solid collection of densely layered and sophisticated pop.
Let’s table the discussion of what Thumpers sound like for a second and acknowledge the most important aspect of the UK duo’s debut album Galore: it has been dying to meet you. Could not be more excited. Think of when you’re visiting a friend’s house for the first time and they warmly warn you about how their bull mastiff can be awfully playful around new friends.
Thumpers are from London, and boy do they have the Sub Pop and C86 style down pat. Comprised of duo Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson, Jr., their debut album Galore has all of the ethereal twee vocals and light-hearted melodies of indie and not much else, but that’s not to say it isn’t an enjoyable time. Kicking off with Marvel, Thumpers instantly demonstrate their appreciation for the ’90s pop of The Pastels and Lush, sounding, well, quite lush.
London duo Thumpers feature former Pull Tiger Tail frontman Marcus Pepperell and sometime Friendly Fires member John Hamson Jr. The pair have also toured with Chvrches, and their debut album ‘Galore’ shares the pop ideals and mainstream ambitions of all three of those bands. The pointedly anthemic choruses on ‘Dancing’s Done’ and ‘Sound Of Screams’ feel like an open letter to Radio 1 playlist chiefs to forget about Bastille and give Thumpers a go instead.
Thumpers' first few tracks suggested a band on the cusp of something big, brash and most importantly, fun. Having Sub Pop sign off on the London duo seemed to confirm this hope, but their debut, Galore, is a soulless collection that feels more like a grasp at brand synergies than an attempt to make meaningful music. On the surface, everything is there for a good-time rhythmic indie rock record — think a more fey Matt & Kim or less abrasive Sleigh Bells — but choruses fail to stick, gang vocals fail to soar and songs build without resolution.
?London’s Thumpers were one of our Ones To Watch for this year, and for good reason: they churn out a sensational elixir, comprising bouncing riffs, jerky right-angle rhythms and pop with more fizz than Mentos and Diet Coke. Euphoric chaos is the name of the game for Thumpers, made up of two long-time pals, Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson, Jr., and, presumably, an IV full of E-numbers. The twosome were in Pull Tiger Tail before its untimely demise, and when Hamson was touring with the likes of Friendly Fires during the aftermath, they began eking out the noises that would eventually form Thumpers’ early works.
What happens when you bring together two childhood besties to make an alt-pop album? The answer, at least in the case of London-based duo Thumpers, is an adorable, bouncy collection of upbeat melodies. The first product of this likeable pair, Galore, is a pretty accurate reflection of the title—an album chock full of catchy choruses, dynamic chords and percussion you definitely want to tap your feet to. As may be expected from two long-time best friends who’ve decide to put their adulthood on pause and make music together, Thumpers gently sends you back into lazy, nostalgic, childhood days when the only thing that mattered was taking it as easy as possible.