Grouplove – EP : Album Reviews
If ever a band sounded like the circumstances that lead to their existance, then look no further than Los Angelas / New York collective Grouplove. The story goes that on New York’s lower east side, singer Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper met at a party and developed an unbelievably strong bond. A pairing so strong, in fact, that they absconded to the Greek Island of Crete for an art residency after knowing eachother for a handful of days. It was here that the pair eventually met Sean Gadd (London), Andrew Wessin and Ryan Rabin (Los Angelas).
And so, Grouplove was formed.
This, their debut self-titled EP, is a stunning collection of brightly-tinged and densly layered vocal based pop-tunes. With a sound comparable to that of MGMT having a dinner party with The Polyphonic Spree, the Grouplove sound deeply resonates with that of a group of bright-eyed and good-willed 20-somethings who’s only concern is “going where they wanna go”.
Opening track Colours is the standout song here, with it’s simplistic, yet frighteningly catchy refrain, there is a strong likeness to Kings Of Leon’s On Call - yet this hardly impedes the listening experience whatsoever. If anything, it’s refreshing to know that one can make a supremely unique and sublime peice of music that sounds, in many ways, very similar to a song that came out a few years beforehand. After this monster track, anyone would almost excuse the band for falling away for the remainder of the 7-tracks. However, what follows is the most promosing feature of this inspiring band.
Naked Kids and Cruel And Beautiful are delightfully whimsical, and equally as sing-a-long worthy. Gold Coast, which appears to have been trumpeted as the bands follow-up single is the first real change of direction, with its slow and controlled crescendo-like verse-chorus erupting into a deluge of blazing instruments and ‘wows” and ‘yeah’s’. Although not the most inspiring track, I can certainly see the broad appeal it may have.
Futuristic ballad Getaway Car will most likely turn out to be one of the most underrated tracks on this EP, while Don’t Say Oh Well puts us back on the track with Zucconi’s relentless Alec Ounsworth-like vocals. The highly impressive Giddy shows the maturity of Grouplove’s songwriting with its mellowed take on a bunch of chords that would usually signify an exhaustive and predictable power-ballad.
Overall, this is one impressive EP. Their sound is uninhibited, and challenges the conventions that a band who powers onto the scene are less likely to sustain a worthwhile career. The songs here are passionate, empowering, and quite often more complex than they first appear. With their breakout hit Colours, as well as a fistfull of more-than appealing songs in their swag, Grouplove have certainly passed the first test in proving they’ve got the substance to translate their potential into an enduring career.