Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grouplove- Never Trust A Happy Song

 Never Trust a Happy Song
A hidden gem lies within Grouplove, the latest LA band worth discovering. Like Black Kids and Local Natives before them, Grouplove emerged as the next big band from Los Angeles. Living in Southern California I’m frequently exposed to numerous new, exciting bands like indie rock band Grouplove.

Ever since I first heard their single “Colours” off their self-titled EP Grouplove last year I instantly fell in love with them. Released by Canvasback Music and Atlantic Records last January, I knew it would be a matter of time before they debut their first album. Grouplove stands as my favorite EP of 2011.

Similar alternative and indie artists to Grouplove include Cults, The Drums, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Foster the People, Joy Formidable, The Naked And Famous and Young the Giant. Grouplove is comprised of Christian Zucconi (lead vocals and guitars), Hannah Hooper (vocals and keyboards), Sean Gadd (bass), Ryan Rabin (drums) and Andrew Wessen (guitars and vocals). This LA quintet delivers a charming, charismatic debut that is part folk, 80s dance rock and awesome alternative music utilizing dual lead vocals and hand claps.

Discovering Grouplove proved interesting. Almost always I’m searching all the various clubs like the Avalon, The Roxy, The Viper Room, the Whisky A Go-Go, The Troubadour and the El Rey Theatre for new bands, particularly the El Rey and Troubadour. For some reason, the band name Grouplove stood out to me when they played a show at The Troubadour. When I heard them I was blown away, but what initially convinced me to listen to their music wasn’t a song. Their album artwork captivated me. Hannah Hooper’s vibrant artwork on both Grouplove and Never Trust A Happy Song stood out to me. The artwork compelled me to discover Grouplove. Sure enough my instinct paid off and I have been a loyal fan ever since.

Never Trust A Happy Song stands as a stunning, stellar smash debut album from Grouplove. “Itchin’ On A Photograph” kicks off with thunderous clapping and a sweet bassline. Zucconi’s zesty voice inspires imagination. It’s a great track to introduce this wonderfully, whimsical band. The opening grabbed my attention almost immediately, “I’m itchin’ on a photograph/Yeah I’m scratching on a thermostat/ Yeah I’m giving up on looking back/ Yeah I’m letting go of all that I had/Yeah I’m itchin’ on a photograph/ Yeah I’m scratching on a thermostat/ Yeah I’m letting go all of that I had/ Yeah I’m itchin’ on a photograph.”

Next up is “Tongue Tied,” a song slowly making its way up the Billboard Hot 100 charts. I certainly believe with its infectious beats and catchy lyrics this could be a bonafide hit. Besides the song, “Colours,” this is my favorite song on Never Trust A Happy Song.

“Take me to your best friend’s house
Go around this roundabout, oh yeah
Take me to your best friend’s house
I loved you then and I love you now, oh yeah
Don’t take me tongue-tied
Don’t wave, no goodbye, don’t
Take me to your best friend’s house
marmalade, we’re making out, oh yeah
Take me to your best friend’s house
I loved you then and I love you now
Don’t take me tongue tied
Don’t wave, no goodbye, don’t
One, two, three, four
Don’t leave me tongue tied
Let’s stay up all night, I’ll get real high
Slumber party, pillow fight
My eyes and your eyes
Like Peter Pan up in the sky
My best friend’s house tonight
Let’s bump the beats till beddy bye
Don’t take me tongue tied
Don’t wave, no goodbye
Don’t take me tongue tied
Don’t kiss me goodnight, don’t
Take me to your best friend’s house
Roll around this roundabout, oh yeah
Take me to your best friend’s house
I loved you then and I love you now
Don’t leave me tongue tied, don’t wave, no goodbye
Don’t leave me tongue tied, don’t
Don’t leave me tongue tied, don’t wave, no goodbye
Don’t leave me tongue tied, don’t

The awesome sweet song “Lovely Cup” follows. With wonderful lyrics, it’s hard to explain why this song, much like the entire album, is so irresistible. Comprised of cool instrumentation it’s easy to understand why Never Trust A Happy Song persists as a fun, fresh album.

My absolute favorite song on Never Trust A Happy Song is “Colours.” From the very first time I heard “Colours” off their EP I knew this would be a band I would love to follow. Instantly hooked, before the song ended I couldn’t stop singing along. Now I practically know every single word for “Colours.”

“I am a man, man, man, man
Up, up in the air
And I run around, ‘round, ‘round, ‘round this downtown
And act like I don’t care
So when you see me flying by the planet’s moon
You don’t need to explain if everything’s changed
Just know I’m just like you
Huh Ha (x5)
So I pull the switch, the switch
The switch inside my head
And I see black, black, green
And brown, brown, brown and blue, yellow, violets, red
And suddenly a light appears
Inside my brain
And I think of my ways
I think of my days and know that I have changed
It’s the colours you have
No need to be sad
It really ain’t that bad
It’s the colours you have
No need to be sad
You’ve still got your health
So mistress, mistress have you been up to the roof?
He shot himself, self
There’s blood on the wall
‘Cause he couldn’t face the truth
Oh, knock that down, leave the ground and find some space
And tell your friends, friends
You’ll be back again, gain
Before it’s too late
It’s the colours you have
No need to be sad
It really ain’t that bad
ooh, it’s the colours you have
No need to be sad
It really ain’t that bad
It’s the colours you have
No need to be sad
You’ve still got your health
So I am a man, man, man, man
Up, up in the air
And I float around, ’round, ‘round, ‘round this downtown
And know I shouldn’t care
So when you see us there out in the open road
You don’t need to explain
If everything’s changed
Just know that you don’t know
We call it life
Oh yeah, that’s what we call it
We can’t call it at all
We call it life
Oh yeah, that’s what we call it
When you can’t call it at all
Yeah, we call it
Oh yeah that’s what we call it
(Ooh)
We do it for love, sweet love

The nostalgic “Naked Kids” is a charming, compelling and catchy song buried in the middle of the album. Only “Naked Kids” and “Colours” are the two tracks previously released on Grouplove. The more mellow “Slow,” the Bruce Springsteen like “Spun,” the cheerful “Betty’s A Bombshell,” the carefree “Chloe,” the sweet “Love Will Save Your Soul,” the soulful “Cruel and Beautiful World” and the fun “Close Your Eyes And Count To Ten” finish off the album. Don’t believe the title off this album, every single song will bring a smile to your face. Grouplove delivers happiness throughout Never Trust A Happy Song with each energetic and entertaining track.

--Mr Brownstone








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