With most tracks on Thumpers’ debut album ‘Galore’ clocking in at roughly the four-minute mark, it’s a bit of a shock that the average length track on ‘Whipped and Glazed’, their second album, comes in closer to nine. That’s not the only difference. Where ‘Galore’ came across as universally optimistic, floating on warm swells of upbeat instrumentation, ‘Whipped and Glazed’ feels somewhat torn.
Where the likes of opener ‘World Removed’ or recent single ‘Boundary Loves’ fizz and pop with the same frothy warmth of its predecessor, ‘Life All In’ and ‘Bray’ throb with a quiet despondency. And though far from obliquely downtrodden it provides the album with a strange balance of optimism and pessimism.
Such a dichotomy comes from the duo’s ability to self-reflect, their anxieties and their ability to find humour within them. As such, ‘Whipped and Glazed’ is littered liberally with moments of self-deprecation. The aforementioned ‘Boundary Love’ for instance softens its ideas of male insecurities through a polished pop veneer. Elsewhere ‘Caramel’ laments a failed relationship in a tender, if not drawn-out, way.
Most if not all the tracks stick around longer than necessary, and while a couple build and blossom in to impressively glossy electro-pop, too many invoke only a glossing over of eyes.
It’s a shame, as those tracks which do feel like they go somewhere, ‘Shot Through’ for instance, are nothing short of impressive, and mark a notable step-up from Thumpers’ debut.