Thumpers - Unkinder EP


London-based duo THUMPERS first appeared on the scene when their debut EP ‘Dancing’s Done’ was released in February 2012. The group, consisting of Marcus Pepperrell and John Hamson Jr., formed from the remains of Pull Tiger Tail in late 2011, after Hamson’s brief stint in Noah And The Whale. The band has been hard at work since the release of their first EP and completed their second, which was released in June 2013.

The Unkinder EP is a four-song disc that holds fast to THUMPERS roots. Their first EP was likened to the sound of Arcade Fire or The Flaming Lips, which is a fitting comparison. The group seems to have taken influence from America in creating fun tunes that make the listener want to let loose and have a good time. The title track begins with a big beat, which is laced with glitchy synthesizers and uplifting vocals. This leads into a sunny, poppy and infectious chorus.

The second track, ‘Mrazion Bay’, shifts gears a bit, and drives the band into more mystical territory. It’s a softer, more balled-like tune that enters an almost ethereal space. The vocals seem distant, accompanied, at time, by only a piano. The chorus is picked up by the drumbeat and then softly fades at the end of the song.

To get back into their good-time grove, the band includes a cover of Bjork’s track ‘Innocence’. It is a shift from the more somber predecessor, and a great choice. The drumbeat keeps the track thumping and gives it a bit of a rockier feel. To maintain the song’s gentler edge, the band chose to include the all girl choir GAGGLE. About halfway through, the song takes an almost transient and spacey turn, with layers of female voices and techno synthesizers. This is a brilliant cover and it keeps the momentum going on the record.

The EP closes with a remixed version of Unkinder. It’s basically an amped up variation of the title track that would be right at home in a dance club. It has a poppy feel that would keep you dancing til dawn. It isn’t groundbreaking, but it does show the bands versatility.

Overall, Unkinder EP is a good effort from an interesting and exciting new indie act. They showcase their talent through both their original songs and a great cover. They have pop potential but still maintain just the right amount of mystery. The group is currently in the studio working on a full-length album. If the EPs are any indication of what is to come, then good things are to be expected.

By Hilari Barton

Here is the video for the title track ‘Unkinder’