Everyone needs a good album full of anthems to keep on repeat for a long car ride. Grouplove has delivered their third album Big Mess, and that album definitely fits the criteria. It's full of big moments and honest fun.
Grouplove has churned out indie tunes for years now. Big Mess is their third album, so they're no longer in that range of records with the high pressure on them. By the third album, most bands have found what works for them and can start really being themselves without needing to worry about the implications of their sound. That's very evident in Big Mess.
Right from the start, this album sounds like it has a very good understanding of what it wants accomplish. It opens with the synthy intro of 'Welcome To Your Life' that leads into a light verse with sweet vocals from Hannah Hooper before she trades off with Christian Zucconi who takes over with a country twang to his voice. The chorus explodes with a reckless abandon, and the bridge brings that energy one step further. The song ends bigger than it was at any point, powerchords strumming and vocals sounding high and mighty.
The album has a bit of rebelliousness to it. 'Do You Love Someone' might as well be a pop punk track, and Grouplove pulls off the sound better than most pop punk bands do. Zucconi belts out high and strong above the guitar. The final chorus explodes as Grouplove reaches the most anthemic sound they've pulled off since they started. Gang vocals reign huge in 'Cannonball' which give it an extra edge above the distorted basslines and keyboards, allowing it to sound absolutely giant.
This album isn't all jams and rebellion - there are some great softer moments on the record. 'Standing In The Sun' is a quieter track, beginning with acoustic guitar before building into a bigger feel-good rock track with an awesome guitar solo in the middle. It ends as sweetly as it began, with the rest of the instruments joining in for a peaceful jam to close out. 'Enlighten Me' progresses from a quiet piano intro and evolves into an epic electronic rock banger. The bridge of 'Traumatized' has a great quiet bridge that adds a nice contrast to its rocky interior. The album ends on a sweet track with 'Hollywood', too. It's almost comedic with the droopy trumpets, but takes the album on a light hearted note.
Grouplove has really owned their sound. Big Mess feels free and fresh no matter how many times you listen to it. It's relatable while still sounding upbeat, rebellious, and anthemic. It's more pop punk than most pop punk bands think they are, and that's saying something when this album is equally as indie rock as it can get. Big Mess isn't perfect, but it's a great record all around. There's a charm in that reckless abandon.
Favorite Tracks: Welcome To Your Life, Standing In The Sun, Enlighten Me, Traumatized
Least Favorite Track: Don't Stop Making It Happen
Rating: 74 / 100