16 March 2022

Thumper – Delusions Of Grandeur – 18th March 2022

 

Thumper are an Irish post-punk band from Dublin, and I have been given the pleasure of reviewing their debut album Delusions of Grandeur. The opening track of the album, Fear of Art sets the tone for what lies ahead. It begins with groovy riffs and a catchy chorus, moves into an excellent guitar solo and instrumental section and finishes with some acoustic guitar laced with distorted synth. The beat and style of the song changes several times, keeping it fresh and interesting over its six-minute duration.  

Thumper – Photography by Ruth Medjber @ruthlessimagery

Ad Nauseum is one track I was familiar with prior to listening to this album, as it was released as a single in 2020. The track’s title means something that has been repeated so much it has become annoying. This is reflected in the song as it has definite punk influence, with lyrics about how someone just won’t shut up. The songs chorus has an anthemic quality that you can quite easily picture a crowd singing back to the band at a gig. And finally, there is an excellent instrumental finale to this song with another awesome guitar solo and some brilliant drum fills.  

25 definitely draws upon other genre influences. It starts off very heavy like a metal song, and then breaks down into an interesting psychedelic interlude, before finishing strong with more brutal riffs. The lyrics of this song are also quite poignant as they reflect upon the pressures of life and getting older. Even though the song is nearly eight minutes long, it keeps you transfixed with interesting changes of pace.  

 Greedy Guts is the first song that didn’t really do it for me. The song’s changes of pace from slow and calm to heavy and abrasive are a little bit too jarring and I think it affects the flow of the track. The song’s beat is also a bit too similar throughout and could have done with more variation. 

Strychnine is definitely one of the more unique tracks on this album. It begins as a more contemplative acoustic song, but then threw in splashes of heavy guitar which almost gave it a darker folk quality.  It did a good job of creating a sense of dread.  

The Loser is almost a breath of fresh air after several longer songs that build up and break down. This energetic punchy three-minute ride is bound to get your blood pumping. The drums in this song remind me of the style of thrash metal. 

Topher Grace is a very different type of song to anything else on the album. It almost plays like spoken word poetry with lots of unique verses throughout the song which is very commendable of the lyricist. Unfortunately, the music lets it down with the same riff played again and again which becomes tiresome especially for a seven-minute track. 

Overbite uses a very distorted guitar sound that is unique to other tracks. There is also evidence of their post-melodic influence in this song, mainly during the chorus. The contrast between distortion and melody is further accentuated when the song breaks down into an acoustic segment, only to burst back into ferocity for the brutal instrumental finale. 

Ghost is unfortunately another example of a song that was too repetitive. The song begins playing one chord and layers instruments over it gradually. However, that one chord playing for several minutes began to get irritating and I feel they needed more variation. 

Down In Heaven displays a lot of progressive rock traits. It begins with acoustic guitar and some layered synth effects, before steadily building up to add drums and heavy guitar. The lyrics and music are very evocative and emotional depicting a story of self-sabotage in a relationship. The slow burn of this song over eight minutes that builds to a crescendo is the perfect ending to this album. 

In summation this band have proven they are capable of writing sprawling epics, punchy punk tracks and even reflective acoustic ballads. They explore a number of genres to make their tracks feel distinct and keep the music interesting for the listener. My only criticism is that some tracks either need more variation to keep them interesting, or are too long and overstay their welcome. Overall though I would definitely recommend this to fans of punk, hard rock and prog rock. 

 

Highlights: 25, Strychnine, Overbite and Down In Heaven

Delusions of Grandeur is available via Eva Magical Music Sounds from 18th March 2022 and can be purchased here and on all major streaming services

For more on Thumper visit their: Bandcamp Instagram Facebook Twitter