Published Feb 07, 2014Thumpers' 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. Drummer John Hamson Jr., who previously did time in both Noah and the Whale and Friendly Fires, begins each track with off-kilter beats before Marcus Pepperell's guitar work plants the songs firmly in a familiar indie rock groove.
The move is reminiscent of those late '90s alt-rock records where bands would start their tracks with drum loops, just to prove they were hip, before seguing into a familiar 4/4 thump. Thumpers are this generation's Collective Soul, but that's about where indie rock is at in the current pop-culture cycle. (Sub Pop)