There is an ease with which alternative UK noise pop-punk sextet Thumper go about their business of taking catchy, radio-friendly songs and developing them, tugging them gently into more expansive territories. This is summed up in a lyric from first track ‘Fear of Art’ where Oisin Leahy Furlong lets us know: “These are just words, and this is just a song”. It is that casual approach that allows them to grow poppy three minute tunes into credible psyched up and alternative rock tinged lengthier products clocking in at the seven minute plus mark without it feeling forced or unnatural, or without losing any of the quality or attention of the listener.
It’s a neat trick, one The Wildhearts were particularly adept at, and one that Thumper seem to have the confident knack for.
With a sound that has plenty of late nineties alternative pop to it, with elements of Smashing Pumpkins, the aforementioned Wildhearts and hints of Weezer and Ash, that has grown up and encompasses the noughties indie boom, as well as touch of prog and Psych mixed with some Royal Blood in there for good measure, it is a strong and mighty cocktail the Dublin based six-piece have been brewing.
Early single ‘Ad Nauseum’ may be an obvious starter point with its Hives-inspired hooks, but it really is when the songs naturally open out such as the assured swagger of the measured ‘Greedy Guts’, the middle-eight to coda of the sparkling ’25’, or the dark exploration of ‘Topher Grace’ that they come into their own. And while the benefits of two drummers isn’t really realised on record – though does add a cool sonic touch when listening on headphones – it will no doubt be most effective in the live environment as a counterpoint to the sunnier moments and melodies, particularly on the QOTSA groove of ‘Overbite’, or the vibrant highlight ‘Loser’.
A very well realised vision, with a self-deprecating title to boot, this debut full length released via EMMS proves that these are no Delusions of Grandeur, but a strong first statement indeed.
8 / 10