Words: Brian Devereux
All the way from Los Angeles, California, come Grouplove - an indie rock band of easygoing beach tunes and sweet musical melodies. The five-piece released a self-titled EP in 2010, which was greeted with positive reviews, and their full debut album Never Trust A Happy Song will do the band equal justice with its honed sound.
Album-opener 'Itchin' On A Photograph' is potentially the album's stand out track and serves as a nice lively introduction to the record, putting smiles on faces and bobbing heads from side to side. 'Naked Kids', too, is a highlight of the album, a track which paints a picture of a carefree summer with your friends where you spend the day swimming at the beach and jumping on sand dunes.
The vocals on Never Trust A Happy Song are as engaging as the music itself. Primary vocalist Christian Zucconi, in particular, if you heard nothing else from the rest of the band, you would definitely get a Beach Boys vibe. Backing vocals belong to Hanna Hooper and it's the combined effort of both that carve their identity. Hooper is also responsible for the album's artwork, showing another creative side and adding an interesting visual dimension to the album.
No track on Never Trust A Happy Song seems out of place, they have a definite feeling for their own musical identity and have a coherent image of the identity they wanted for Never Trust A Happy Song. After listening you're left with an image of a band used to the 'Cali' beaches and an unhurried life of sun, sea and sand. That, and the album is equally at home as the soundtrack to a party.