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For the past few years, THUMPER have earned a reputation as one of Dublin’s most frantic, unpredictable live acts. Perfecting their own brand of noisy pop-rock, built upon a foundation of abrasive, fuzzed-out four-guitar attack, howling feedback, pounding rhythms and frenetic vocals. With the release of their latest EP, Out Of Body Auto-Message, listeners and concert attendees alike can revel in the sextet’s consistency. What we have already seen and heard before is exactly what we get here.
To begin with, the band get straight down to business on the near-relentlessly frantic opening track ‘Down’. The opener is a sort of slacker-pop, sad-sack anthem steeped in paranoia. It’s heightened by the increasingly desperate vocal delivery of frontman Oisin Leahy Furlong:
“Everybody talks about me / As if I’m not around”
The velocity doesn’t let up on second track ‘AFL’ an obnoxious, in your face, Ramones-on-speed banger. The momentum carries over to the EP’s centrepiece ‘In My Room’, an ode to self-imposed isolation induced mania over the tried and tested soft-loud formula concocted by the Pixies decades before them:
“There is an itch I scratch every night / A hole I hide behind my eyes / A bulbous mess of innocent evil”
Following this, ‘Half Light’ provides some welcome respite. A simple, warping acoustic chord progression makes the track sound, at times, like a record playing on a dusty needle. Accompaniment comes from occasional muffled blasts of guitar feedback and spacey guitar solo, earnest vocals and very bittersweet lyrics:
“Ooooohhh / I am not the same / Person you met last week / All that I give is returned and that’s fine with me”
The album closes out with the aptly named ‘3am and Restless’. This final track is a hyperactive, straight-ahead rocker until its extended psychedelic freak-out at the finish.
Is it safe to say that THUMPER aren’t reinventing the wheel? Absolutely. But if you like your music loud, fast, catchy and a bit weird sometimes, this is the band for you.