After telling us they felt “slightly misunderstood” on their debut album Galore, London duo Thumpers return three years later determined to prove that this won’t stop them doing things their own way.
Whipped & Glazed isn’t an all-out departure from Thumpers’ euphoric pop roots, but a matured and darker take on their signature sound. Opening track “World Removed” throws on the familiar jacket of indie synth pop optimism, suggesting that the long-awaited follow-up is destined to continue in the same vein as their debut, but “Gargantua” quickly steps in with its crashing cymbals and pressing drumbeat to prove otherwise - its aggressive sound mocking hypermasculinity with a tongue-in-cheek swagger.
The album is shrouded by a fuzzy anxiety, a nervousness in facing up to insecurities, felt especially in the unnerving rhythm that propels “Wolf Ways”. “That Waterfall” pairs a gritty bassline and wonky synths to communicate this, whereas “Life All In” lyrically offers some of the album’s most reflective and introspective moments.
The highlight of Whipped & Glazed comes in the shape of “Boundary Love”, which picks up the pace with an emotional urgency. It combines the familiarity of Thumpers’ infectious rhythmic pop brilliance, yet as on “Wolf Ways” it opens up more space for a guitar solo or two.
Now older and wiser, Thumpers translate experience into subtle sophistication as they continue to forge their own unique path full of lopsided metaphors and synths, of direct basslines and drumbeats, not stopping for a second to compare themselves to their peers.