Grouplove - 'Spreading Rumours'

The college pop crew get an electro party going on their second album

Aaron Farley/NME
Pic: Aaron Farley/NME
  • Release Date 17 Feb, 2014
  • Producer Ryan Rabin
  • Record Label Canvasback
8 / 10
If you’ve ever pondered the question ‘What would Arcade Fire have sounded like if no-one had ever died?’, time to get acquainted with Grouplove. Such is their dedication to upbeat party-starting, this Los Angeles college pop band has even done the voguish thing and gone electro for album number two. Luckily, no amount of squelchy beats, dubstep bass, trip-hop crackles and gabba breakdowns can suppress their effervescent sense of melody: see the likes of ‘Shark Attack’ and ‘I’m With You’, which finds Christian Zucconi bawling like the sugar-rushing lovechild of Jack White and Conor Oberst while Hannah Hooper adds the adorable angel harmonies. Ultimately, then, there’s nothing to worry about: America’s most addictive export since Call Of Duty has merely gathered some modernist textures. ‘Hippy Hill’ begins with the sort of joyous folk-pop that characterised their 2011 debut ‘Never Trust A Happy Song’, but it’s not long before the Californian campfire is crushed beneath a rampaging juggernaut of Skrillex whoomps. “I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster,” Zucconi declares. Sounds like they’ve actually achieved the perfect marriage.

Mark Beaumont

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