Like Dinosaur Jr. meeting The Moldy Peaches in a secret cove at sundown.
Mike Diver 2011
One of NME’s top new bands of last year – a list featuring acts so fresh most hadn’t released more than a few tracks, let alone anything approaching a long-player – Grouplove are a Los Angeles quintet whose collective compositional mindset has evidently been gently toasted by the Californian sunshine. Theirs is a sound so buoyant, so gleeful – as made perfectly evident on their great single, Colours – that its infectiousness is absolute. There is no way that this band will not tickle the listener’s sweetest spots.
Granted, in time this might begin to get a little sickly – like riding a rollercoaster, over and over, until your lunch makes its reappearance. The band have that aura about them, much in the same way that MGMT did on their debut – before the whole we’ve-gone-a-bit-weird-us turn last year, when Getting Serious translated as Growing Boring. Initially formed by Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, and settling in LA only after diversions via Manhattan, London and Greece, this is a band that’s very existence is a product of good fortune – fate, you could say. As such these six tracks zip by without a care in the world, the players sounding pleased as punch to simply be in this position – in the here, the right now, with scant regard for what tomorrow might bring.
With lyrics about hitting the beach and skinny dipping (Naked Kids) and a track called Gold Coast, the seaside plays an important part in the make-up of these songs (further evidence: hello, cover art). They’re pieces that gaze at the sparkle, rather than back at the tarmac and snack stalls. The listener can almost feel the grains between their toes. They’re nostalgic, formed from memory and subsequently blurred at the edges, but no less affecting for their breezy naivety – like Dinosaur Jr. meeting The Moldy Peaches in a secret cove at sundown. Getaway Car is a crunchy, sweet affair, its lyrical premise conveyed by its title: "When I go inside / Will you wait out here… When times are hard / We can escape". It’s simple, sure, but very charming, admission of mistakes a stepping-stone towards making a situation so much better. Get Giddy isn’t actually the silly spin it might be on paper, but it’s certainly woozy – the after effects of the action, rather than the action itself.
Whether the band’s honey-hearted, sugar-coated indie-bop-pop will work across an album-length release remains to be seen, but this set is a nugget of golden pleasure, petite, but perfectly proportioned.