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Spreading Rumours
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  • One of the best neo-post-punk bands to emerge from the indie rock landscape in the wake of MGMT's success, Los Angeles' Grouplove brought catchy, buoyant melodicism to their 2011 debut, Never Trust a Happy Song. The band's sophomore follow-up, 2013's Spreading Rumours, is an equally kaleidoscopic if more focused album that retains all of the touchstones that made their previous release so engaging. We still get the dual lead vocals of guitarist Christian Zucconi and keyboardist Hannah Hooper, as well as the infectious percussive rhythms via drummer Ryan Rabin, guitarist Andrew Wessen, and bassist Sean Gadd. Produced by Rabin (the son of Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin), Spreading Rumours features a set of supremely catchy songs that walk the line between the Flaming Lips' bubbly psych rock and Smashing Pumpkins' '90s alt crunch. However, where Smashing Pumpkins built their sound around yearning, often darkly emotional lyrics, Grouplove make joyful, positive-minded rock. These guys are permagrin fruitboots who play with such frenetic optimism you can hear the smiles in their voices. As they sing on "Hippy Hill," "I'd rather be the dying than the rising sun/I'd rather leave my spirit for everyone" and "I'd rather be a hippie than a hipster." When the group's democratic bubblegum pop free-for-all works, as on the anthemically ballsy single "Borderlines & Aliens" and the rambling "What I Know," the results are euphoric, making their joy not just compelling but infectious. ~ Matt Collar
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.83) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Their second LP retains the goofy amiablility of their debut and cranks the NIneties influences..."
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