H&H // SPREADING RUMOURS LP – GROUPLOVE
Originally published on Hooting & Howling
Since their debut struck the world back in 2011, Grouplove have been painting the world with a united kind of simple musical happiness that doesn’t appear to have existed, well, before Grouplove, and with their second album, ‘Spreading Rumours’, set for release on Tuesday, the grins don’t appear to be fading just yet.
Though synths may be taking a more starring role in this and the others that follow, the sunlight drenched sound of the debut entirely shines through the second opener ‘I’m With You’ kicks in, it’s infectious, and straight away you definitely are on their side.
Before a moment to smile is even given though, ‘Borderlines And Aliens’ begins with a heavy rock riff before transcending into a chant of “I lost my head at the gig today/so ari ari ari gato gato” and the soaring sweet harmonies of Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper take over – it’s somewhere between complete rock and serious experimental, as the title would suggest, and is the album’s token slightly odd one but nonetheless it’ll certainly get your feet moving sharpish.
‘Schoolboy’ and, first single, ‘Way’s To Go’ return us back to the more natural happily explosive sound of past offerings , there’s little progression, but it’s welcomed after such a diversely bizarre introduction, and Hooper completely commands the melodies throughout.
If a bit synth laden and sample happy, ‘Shark Attack’ keeps the pace up – if this stuck to the “difficult second album” rules, there’s no trace of it just yet, Grouplove offer a sheer positivity in every 4 minutes they come up with. Even the acoustic, minimal affairs such as ‘Sit Still’, with full on funk shuffle rhythms, stand up against the others in this respect, the constant repeats of the lyric “I can never sit still” sum it all up perfectly.
‘Hippy Hill’ meanwhile, is an unfortunate straggler among the strength, it’s a slower type, echoing trip hop in the drums while layers of harsh synthesizers dominate the chorus, turning it into something that isn’t just quite ready for the world yet, though you have to give a nod to the lyrics, “I’d rather be a hippy than hipster” could quite rightly sum up the band’s entire outlook, and that works, if nothing else. ‘What I Know’ is too dumbed down by similar issues, with screaming guitars and shared shouts, it returns to their signature sound, but too much appears to be going on to warrant it more than a mere token few listens.
Thankfully, the album’s put back on it’s feet again by ‘Didn’t Have To Go’, a stark start transforms it into a fiery moment of brilliance, once again showcasing the intense vocals of Hooper back in full force, while ‘News To Me’ and ‘Bitin’ The Bullet’ retain much of the same absolute dancing tone.
‘Raspberry’, however, is by far the standout – it sticks true to the effortlessly incredible masterplan the group have laid out with past tracks like ‘Colours’ and ‘Tongue Tied’, it’s dance rock at it’s finest and without a doubt the most pop thing ‘Spreading Rumours’ has to offer, “Raspberry on the ferry/I was feeling kinda seasick” might just be the catchiest hook they’ve come up with so far, a big feat.
By the time the clear cut sweetness of ‘Save The Party For Me’ comes to an end, only one conclusion can be reached, Grouplove may have experimented and increased their sounds since the debut stole our airwaves but they are still very much at the top of their game when it comes to songs to bounce around to, and everyone loves a happy song, don’t they?