Vital Status: Dead💀
Fav Tracks: Deadline, Oxygen Swimming
Least Fav: Primetime, This Is The End, Seagulls, Shake That Ass, Shout
The lackluster title of Grouploves 5th studio album perfectly sums up how the record plays out over 9 songs and 33 minutes of runtime. The alternative rock band brings out a very formulaic approach to their new album This Is This. Most of the tracks here run very similar with lead vocals, Hannah Hooper, controlling the majority of the singing until inevitably Christian Zucconi and Andrew Wessen show up. There aren’t many surprises this album offers, sticking heavily with it’s alt rock sound, but I did find myself enjoying most of the softer/quieter moments.
Starting off we get the track “Primetime” that just confused me with the ‘kill you, eat you’ lyrics. This feels a little out of character for Grouplove and the track doesn’t come off as hard of an opener I think that they intended.
Things don’t get much better on the next track “This Is The End”. The chorus is extremely bland with lyrics of
I, I, I, I
Hey, hey, hey, hey, yeah
I, I, I, I
I’m not here, I’m always here
To me this just seems like a bunch of filler noise. The instrumentation and guitar playing comes off quite simple/ repetitive and doesn’t offer up another element to bring this track to life. This is all encompassed by contradicting lyrics that suggest a relationship in flux.
“Deadline” the third track on This Is This has both good and bad qualities. I do enjoy the pacing of this song with the drums and pulsating synths that make a nice groove. The song does get these transitions into more blissful guitar playing, but unfortunately the sound is warped to make it super dull when it should feel glossy. Grouplove’s writing comes off incredibly mediocre, especially for a track that appears to be about how their career has taken away from certain aspects of their life.
Immediately, the song “Scratch” reminded me of something from The Pixies. This track doesn’t ever figure out what it is. These noisy guitar sounds appear as if they were just thrown in to add a punkier element. The bridge on this song is a nice moment, it’s just confusing how we ended up there.
Honestly, my favorite and probably the most well written track on the album is “Oxygen Swimming”. The only reason I am saying that is strictly because of the 3rd verse and the song knows exactly what it is. It’s a slower song that doesn’t try to do too much and keeps things simple while actually having somewhat of a direction.
Now moving on to the second half of this album things only get worse here. The faster more alive pace picks back up with “Just What You Want”. Hannah seems like she’s really trying to add some pizazz on her vocals, but it’s just not within her ability. There are two verses on this track and yet again the listener doesn’t get much out of them when it comes to context or overall subject matter.
The next two tracks are more duds with “Seagulls” and “Shake That Ass”. “Seagulls” features a more punk rock sound that spends the majority of three verses describing places that no longer exist just to end with the word seagulls. Not really sure what the point of that was.
Then the track “Shake That Ass” has this terrible mix on the synthesized vocals. It just sounds as if you grabbed a karaoke mic and tried to swallow it and sing at the same time.
The middle school christian rock song “Shout” closes the album. Okay, maybe not a christian rock song, but for some reason those were the vibes I got from this track. Definitely a middle school band could right the chorus on this song because it’s so lame. See below.
Just let it all out
Yeah, shout, shout, shout
Shout, shout, shout
Just lеt it all out
And then for some reason they thought it’d be cool to end with over 1 minute of static noise to waste my time. This is honestly a pretty dark song and has some eyebrow raising lyrics but they just made the chorus so lame and for that I just can’t return to it.
I think Grouplove’s This Is This is mainly a product of poor execution and not the best song writing. They really need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to develop these tracks and the concepts that surround them because the listener is just left hanging half the time.