The indie-rock quintet Grouplove is made up of friends who met and came together spontaneously in 2009 – Christian Zucconi (vocals, guitar), Hannah Hooper (vocals, keyboard), Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals), Ryan Rabin (drums and producer) and Sean Gadd (bass, vocals).
“Spreading Rumors,” their second full-length album, was released in September. It consists of 16 tracks, including three bonus songs. The album’s song titles are imaginative and comical – “Hippy Hill,” “Beans on Pizza” and “Borderlines and Aliens.”
The single, “Ways to Go,” came out before the rest of the collection in mid-June. Zucconi, the band’s frontman, said the song “came magically” during recording. It’s been in the Top 100 on the Billboard charts.
“Magic” could describe the entire album, with a lovely indie-rock feel to it but a unique sound that differs from other bands. Throughout the tracks, the listener questions the actual genre multiple times. For instance, “Shark Attack” is a wild mosh of steel drums, bouncy pop sound and a tiny, delicate solo. The variety continues with great bass, some techno, a little tinkling on a toy piano and silky repetitive vocals.
It is obvious that a lot of time and thought was spent on most of the album, but some songs, like “Save the Party For Me,” “Didn’t Have to Go” and “Bitin’ the Bullet,” lacked enthusiasm.
Some of the more appealing glossy and cool songs like “Ways to Go” and “Raspberry” appeal to today’s mainstream music crowd. Tracks like “Hippy Hill,” “Borderlines and Aliens” and “Girl” might be interpreted as pretty far out there, but I genuinely enjoyed their weirdness. Wailing reminiscent of the Clash and bizarre lyrics like “I lost my head at the gate today, so ari ari ari goto” form a loopy amiability.
Grouplove’s quirkiness is rare. The group is willing to be crazy and stay true to itself for the quality of the music. That’s commendable. Fans can’t help but listen to the songs over and over again, because they just sound so cool. With its distinctly different and easily recognized style, it’s the typical Grouplove fans have previously enjoyed but with new stuff blended in. The band doesn’t sound like anyone else and that is what makes it great.
Sabina Mogavero is a sophomore at Pioneer High School.