Grouplove : Grouplove
It’s weird that in an increasingly-globalised age of the internet, the foremost descriptor we attribute to any musical act is their geographical reckoning. Though I doubt it was their intention, Grouplove manage to prove the futility of such reductionism. My first few listens to their debut, self-titled EP were done so under the impression that the group hailed from sunny Brisbane, or anywhere in Queensland at the very least. It made sense, what with hit single Colours spelt using Queen’s English, a track called Gold Coast, as well as being signed to Dew Process for chrissake.
Despite much connoting to the contrary, it turns out Grouplove hail from the USA’s sunshine state rather than our own – therefore refuting any semblance of nationalist pride and prejudice that may have been imbued in a dissection of their five-track sampler.
The disc serves primarily as a vehicle for the breakthrough smash Colours – a solid indie rock thumper with a syncopated rhythm-guitar, as well as Isaac Brock-like vocal tics and syllable-repetitions, which share a lot in common with indie giants Modest Mouse (more specifically, the post-major-label-signed, Johnny Marr-featuring incarnation of the group for those who subscribe to the dichotomous nature of their catalogue).
Despite these similarities, Colours still manages to rise above any sense of derivativeness by embracing a broad palette of influences – at times swinging towards Pixies with backing vocals sounding a great deal like Kim Deal, while also calling to mind Neutral Milk Hotel’s brand of ‘loud’ acoustic guitar.
The rest of the EP’s five tracks function as an extended B-side. Not that they’re necessarily bad tracks, it’s just that they lack the impact of a single while struggling for any context that might be found on an LP release.