Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings
Positive: 5 out of 5
Mixed: 0 out of 5
Negative: 0 out of 5
Dec 29, 2013Despite loving the hits on their debut, I unfortunately never got around it. Fortunately a couple months ago I was lucky enough to win a vinyl test pressing from the band via a contest on their Facebook page. And Spreading Rumours doesn't disappoint. A lot of this album's appeal is similar to that of those hits. They're unabashedly fun, loud & infectious pop songs with a slight raw edge in the vocal/instrumental department that gives the band a more distinct sound.
The album starts incredibly with “I'm With You”, which might be my favorite song from Grouplove up to this point. It spends the first 2 minutes just building & building, starting with some piano shredding & tom-heavy drumming to create a nice reverb-coated atmpsphere before dropping out & letting a fantastic synth-led pop song take over, going back & forth between minimal & bombastic without feeling too jarring, clocking in at nearly 6 minutes. I honestly had no idea the band could be this ambitious but it really works for them. Not to say they can't be just as enjoyable in the simple 3-4 minute pop formula, but I think it'd be interesting what would happen if they did more of that on the next album. From there it's for the most part a great set of tracks, for reasons other than what I mentioned before. In fact the next song “Borderlines and Aliens” goes into unfamiliar territory too (as far as I know), a dirty alt-rocker driven by great riffs & transitions from one extremely catchy section to the next. Meanwhile “Ways to Go” & “Shark Attack” find an interesting & natural way of incorporating electronics into the mix. They cleverly add a new dynamic, but not at the sacrifice of the band's best traits (at least to those who don't just dismiss anything that's not a “real instrument”). “Shark Attack” in particular uses that purely as a way of making the chorus a lot more engaging. I don't wanna name-drop every track here, so the rest of the album is basically a fun mix of memorable melodies & guitar riffs, fun upbeat vibes, and lyrics that come off sincere & charming, if a bit hard to decode at times.
Admittedly I do have a couple minor issues with some moments. I'm not really a fan of “Hippy Hill”'s titular line “I'd rather be a hippie than a hipster” that can't help but find it a bit corny. “Bitin' the Bullet”, while it does have a decently catchy chorus, moves at this awkwardly plodding pace that doesn't really generate much energy or momentum for me. The nitpickiest thing I have to say is that the verse melody in “Borderlines and Aliens” is dangerously close to Nirvana's “All Apologies”, even though it's otherwise a great song. Also, it's not an issue necessarily, but like with what I said about Youngblood Hawke's Wake Up, I'd be curious would would happen if the male & female singers of this band (Christian & Hannah in this case) had more of an equal lead singer position, rather than one doing lead & the other doing backing. They're both very capable singers, and it's shown that Hannah can carry a whole song in the lead role as shown in bonus track “Girl”. Not saying every song should be a straight-up duet, but I dunno, it's something I've thought about. Overall though, I really enjoyed this album, and it's definitely a great full-length introduction to this band. I'm a sucker for a well-written & personality-packed pop song, and these guys have that pretty much mastered.
Top 5 tracks: I'm With You, Ways to Go, Sit Still, Shark Attack, Didn't Have to Go
(Check out more reviews on my Facebook page That Non-Elitist Music Fan.)… Full Review »
Sep 18, 2013Having perfected the art of making catchy indie songs, Grouplove simply do just that with 'Spreading Rumours', venturing out only in instrumentation (there are more synths on this album). There is little concept here and is simply a good soundtrack for a hipster party. It's good. That's all. Can't help but like them.… Full Review »
Mar 19, 2014The sophomore album from Grouplove impressed me. Growth was shown whithin the lyrics and their musical content. Their debut album found success with their catchy indie tunes. The same is found within Spreading Rumors in songs such as "Bitin' the Bullet", "Ways to Go", and "Sit Still", amonst others. I am ready to see this live from such an enregetic group in April.… Full Review »