Album Review: THUMPERS – Galore
London based duo, THUMPERS, was formed in 2011 by long-time friends Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. (Friendly Fires). The band started simply as correspondence between the two which led to long recording sessions when they were taking breaks from traveling and other projects. After three years, their hard work pays off with Galore, a dreamy journey through growing up.
As the cover suggests, the album conjures up memories of summers spent lounging around, oblivious to the world outside your own teenage bubble. The opening track, “Marvel”, kicks off with a field recording of London’s Regent’s Canal behind drums and whimsical piano and soft vocals. The song speaks of summer love, a feeling that you want to last but that always fades by autumn.
THUMPERS really hit their stride in the first few tracks of the album. Waves of electronic samples flow over clapping and buzzing bass on “Sound of Screams”. You’ll barely have a moment to catch your breath before “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)” jumps through your speakers, demanding your attention. Upon first listen, it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot going on: thumping electronic samples, buzzing bass, glimmering guitars, propulsive drums and even more clapping (we all know how much I love clapping), but upon subsequent listens you start to appreciate the intricate layers laid down by the band.
While the first part of the album soars, the middle of the album starts to fall a bit flat. Sixth track, “Now We Are Sixteen” is the least successful song on the album. It’s slower than the rest of the tracks, but that isn’t its downfall. What is lacking here is the exuberant musical textures and styles that the rest of the album contains. If Galore makes you feel nostalgic for that easy teenage life with no worries, “Now We Are Sixteen” represents the hormonal, awkward memories that you’d rather forget.
Like a teenage summer romance, Galore is full of hopeful optimism yet lacks any real depth. That’s not to say that it isn’t a good album, it just lacks staying power. Pepperell and Hamson often jump into each song with reckless abandon, creating fun and catchy hooks that fail to linger once summer ends.