GLOO – How Not to Be Happy

To be fair to Littlehampton it is a nice place, but it isn’t likely to set the world alight. However, every so often a gem can be found even in the sleepiest of locales. And while I suspect GLOO are not quite to the taste of the majority of the population where the more than 1/3 of the citizens are, not to mince words, “senior”, I am sure that they have a lot of fun annoying the neighbours.

Having said I am sure that those at the younger end of the age demographic can relate to the fun-loving threesome who positively thrust their debut album on an unsuspecting public back in 2018. That album “A Pathetic Youth” was a non-stop headbanger that spoke the language of the young working classes and looked to distract whatever life had to deal out. But this was no angry, angsty album, quite the opposite, the humour of the band shines through…the band are clearly serious musicians, but don’t take themselves too seriously.

It seems that the intervening three years have not dulled their sense of humour or seen them scale back in anyway from making music that is both in your face, and catchy as hell.

Their latest offering, “How Not to be Happy” is released August 27th and carries on from where the last album left off, providing another 30 minutes pure escapism, which I think is what the band were aiming for. Vocalist Thomas Harfield, who formed the band with brother Mark (drums) in 2017 had this to say about the writing process’

“I wrote these songs because I wanted to figure shit out in my life,” he adds. “But there’s enough people in the world saying, ‘Things are shit.’ And we all know they are. We wanted to be the voice that I don’t see anywhere else, that’s saying, ‘We know things are shit – but don’t we all really need a place to forget that for a while?”

That process of “forgetting about it” gets a pounding start with “I Can’t Hear Myself Think” distorted guitars overlaid with Thomas’s gravelly vocals reminiscent of the great Noddy Holder of Slade, (perhaps the older Littlehampton residents should give them a listen after all ). This song slips seamlessly into the feel good “Ride”, BTW, if you haven’t done so already check out the video for this great number, it’s like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers meets The Monkees.

The frenetic pace is evident throughout the album. The almost anthemic “No One Gives a Fuck”, is destined to be a “pints in air” the crowd pleaser, when we are allowed to be in crowds and sing along again. “Take the Piss” and “Big Smoke” both work really well with the rugged vocals, in fact Big Smoke was my favourite track.

There are a couple of slower tracks, “Swimming in Your Sea” and “Permanent” which offer a breather, and also show a different side to the band, but I think GLOO are at their very best when then they are cranking it up.

The final track, Rizla feels almost like a bonus, with a not so subtle country vibe, an ode to those with no money in their pocket, living through the inevitable English rain, the perfect self-deprecating way to close out.

This is a fun album, and the band clearly had a blast making it, perhaps it was a distraction from the nonsense of the last 18 months

As drummer Mark puts it: “It doesn’t matter if it’s Stairway To Heaven – if it doesn’t feel GLOO when we’re in a room playing together, we’re not going to keep it.”

“When we’re playing a new song, we know it’s good if it’s making us laugh,” explains bassist Tom. “If we’re having fun playing it, that’s the sign of a good song to us”

If you are in the UK you have a few chances of catching them live through the middle of September with tickets available at Bandsintown

If you cant make it out to see them then you can follow them on their socials, or grab the album at their Bandcamp page.

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