Tag Archives: Spreading Rumors

Reviewing Grouplove’s Latest Album

Spreading Rumors Album Review

If you’ve seen any of my past Grouplove reviews, you’ll recall that they’re at the top of my list of upcoming artists. Their breakthrough debut album, Never Trust A Happy Song, was in our Top 5 Rock Albums of 2011, and their live show has been great both times that I’ve caught them.

I’ve been anxious to hear what they have to offer on their follow-up release Spreading Rumors. Would it be the next step in their evolution as a rock solid artist, or the dreaded Sophomore slump.  As it turns out, it’s a little of both.

The first track, “I’m With You” starts with a gratuitous 2:00 extended musical intro before melding into a fairly lame by their standards Vampire Weekend-esque offering which is quite frankly probably the worst song they’ve offered to date. Certainly an ominous start to their second full-length offering.

Fortunately, the tenor of the album takes a 180 degree turn on the very next track, “Borderlines And Aliens,” which felt like a nice extension of the fine music the band proffered on Never Trust a Happy Song. The guitar riff in this one is addictive; accompanied by strong vocal trade-offs from Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper, it’s a raucous rocker, and a song that should have kicked off the album.

“Ways To Go” is the sweetly saccharine first single from the album. It’s a keyboard and drum machine driven guilty pleasure. The keyboards are simple, yet simply addictive and the boy-girl vocal trade-offs perfectly harmonious. “Raspberry” is my choice for best single offering on the album. It’s an excellent, well-balanced track that highlights what the band does best: strong vocals, powerful drums, driving bass and slick guitar work; and it’s catchy as hell.

One of my favorite tracks was “Sit Still” which strayed nicely from the keyboard driven cuts that dominate Spreading Rumors. Plenty of acoustic guitar and superb drumming from Ryan Rabin carry this song and make it one of the most diverse offerings on the album.

On one of the band’s few offerings that is not powered by Zucconi’s voice, Hannah Hooper takes a turn in the spotlight. “Didn’t Have To Go” nicely spotlights Hooper’s wide vocal range, and through two albums is the best showcase for her talented voice,

“What I Know” and “News To Me” are two other strong tracks that nicely spotlight the band’s under-emphasized guitar playing ability, and “Shark Attack” is a fun quirky cross between Surf Punks and The Go-Gos.

Is it as good as their debut? No, but there aren’t many recent albums that are. Spreading Rumors has a handful of mediocre tracks but it also offers a nice selection of excellent offerings. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Rock On!

Grouplove Headlines Campus Consciousness Tour

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Grouplove Gives Back

On these hallowed blog pages, we’ve frequently asserted that they’re one of the most talented young bands on the Alternative rock scene. And, as their popularity continues to grow, the members of Grouplove are developing into quite the philanthropists, as well.

The talented quintet joins forces with Reverb and Rainforest Alliance to headline the 2013 Campus Consciousness Tour, kicking off October 24th at Ohio’s Kent State University. The quck tour has the band playing a dozen shows before wrapping up at Colby College in Maine. (See the full schedule below)

Each stop on the tour will feature a live performance by Grouplove – who just released their second full-length album Spreading Rumours, featuring the Top 5 hit single “Ways to Go.” We recently caught them in Philly, and they put on one hell of a show – Philadelphia Show Review.  They will be supported on this tour by two up-and-coming artists, Saints of Valory and The Knocks.

Each tour stop will also feature an on-campus “eco-village” where students can learn about sustainability while enjoying activities, giveaways and contests, including a chance to score a meet-and-greet with the band. Grouplove’s Hannah Hooper will also be joining up with students who take the Rainforest Alliance pledge to “Follow the Frog” to collaborate on “Art for Activism.” Prior to joining Grouplove, Hooper was already an accomplished visual artist, having graduated from the Parsons School of Design and being a part of NYC’s Lower East Side art scene. As the band’s art director, she is responsible for creating all of Grouplove’s visual art, including album cover art, tour posters, stage design, and merchandise.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with the Rainforest Alliance and Reverb to tour greener while encouraging college students to be more eco-minded at our shows,” said Hannah Hooper, co-lead singer and keyboardist of Grouplove. “Students are the leaders of tomorrow. Through the Campus Consciousness Tour we hope to inspire students to lead the way toward a more sustainable future.”

Rock On!

24 Kent, OH Kent State University
25 Clinton, NY Hamilton College
26 Fredericksburg, VA University of Mary Washington
29 Rochester, NY Monroe Community College
30 Columbus, OH Ohio State University
6 Worchester, MA Clark University
8 Washington, DC American University
9 Ewing, NJ College of New Jersey
15 Somerville, MA Tufts University
16 Waterville, ME Colby College