Bring on the bangers. Gloo deliver a riot from start to finish with their first album A Pathetic Youth.
Littlehampton trio Gloo dispatch their first LP, A Pathetic Youth and with it comes a whole load of excitement. I will keep the introduction to this one short and sweet, simply because you can check out the album preview that we dropped a week or so ago. In brief, I was very excited to see just whether the band could keep up the infectious energy seen with all their singles. Luckily, the time has come. Buckle up.
Holiday kicks off the party. Grungy vocals, exhilarating energy and all-around bang. This one is by far and away my favourite Gloo track. The drums are simple, the riff is catchy, and Tom Harfield’s vocals have so much rasp about them that they feel as though they could explode at each and every corner. The breakdown is simple, but simply brilliant. It does everything it needs to, it is exciting and takes the song to the next level. Accompanying a few tinnies at Trees, I am sure that the performance of this track live will be a highlight of the festival. In a similar vein, Let Me Have Some is sure to be a riot. In our recent interview with the band, they admitted that this track is their favourite to play live as it is “relentless but in a nice way”. One you can’t afford to miss.
No Shit Sally keeps up the angst seen in the album’s opener. The hook becomes evident immediately as Harfield shouts through the “no shit Sally” hook frequently. The drums are the triumph in this track, the way that they jump about and change the intensity of the song is incredible. There is not one single moment of respite with this one. However, Force You is a little more reserved. You might listen to this and think, what the hell am I on about? This track is still an absolute flamethrower and is undoubtedly huge. However, the structure of it is a little different from the rest. The opening of the track sees the vocals sitting atop of a punching bassline and equally vibrant display of drums. As the verse falls into the chorus and the song moves into fifth gear (which is expected by this point, even though it is the 3rd track on the album) it is quickly cut away. Instead, we are greeted with a refreshing array of backing vocals that dance through a series of “ahhhhs”. The balance between these and the vocals of Harfield is refreshing and gives the song an uplifting feel.
Hit It has a vintage grunge feel about its riff. It falls through the notes and continually chops and changes direction. The result? Yet another belter. I am a big fan of the refrain of “hit it” that is slammed through your headphones. My only critique with this one would be that it goes on for a little longer than necessary. Gloo seem to thrive in short, sharp bursts of power and for me, Hit It has a little too much feedback play in the middle portion of the song. Nonetheless, this is still a good one. Similarly, Pig opens with yet another giant riff. From here we follow the Gloo blueprint seen with its predecessors. Pounding drums, huge riffs and grungy, dirty vocals. Unfortunately, for me, this track suffers from the same problem as Hit It which doesn’t do enough by trying to do too much. However, the “yeeaaaah” that precedes the breakdown is wonderful and marks the start of 30 seconds of pure chaos. Filthy.
Say Yes begins with another piercing riff. The vocals are a little different with this one and seem to dance with the riff, following its every move. The chorus is questionably the biggest on the album. It is catchy and leaves you needing to nod your head with it. The breakdown falls a little flat compared to other tracks on this album but that is not an issue with a chorus that is this infectious. Act My Age is 1 minute 53 seconds of pure heat. I am not sure if a lot happens or a whole lot of nothing happens. Rest assured, after hearing this track your head will feel well and truly spun.
Dripping Wet and Pissheads provide the perfect conclusion to A Pathetic Youth. They both give the listener a recap of what the band are about. The vocals in Dripping Wet, in particular, are very tight, questionably the most rehearsed of the entire album. The bass in this track is particularly exhilarating, keeping the song on its course but also enjoying moments of flare. Every time I have listened to this one, I find myself slamming my foot into the floor in time with the song. With Pissheads we are given a flavour of what Gloo are fully capable of. I never thought that the lyrics “we’re all pissheads” could have such an anthemic feel to them, however, somehow, they do. This song is the perfect conclusion to the story of A Pathetic Youth. The perfect encapsulation of Gloo – rough around the edges, larger than life and capable of writing a fucking banger.
With their lyrics, Gloo won’t re-educate you or mentally stimulate your brain, but I can guarantee that these tracks will do one thing – blow your ears off. This album is a party from start to finish. Although some tracks fall off a little in parts, overall there are a lot of hits on offer here. I am sure that this release will lead to comparisons with bands such as Dinosaur Pile-Up, but I think it is important to refrain from this. Gloo are a breath of fresh air. Get ready.