Gloo’s 2019 debut A Pathetic Youth was easily one of the best albums of that year — and pretty much any other, when you get down to it. A riff-laced assault of grungy garage-punk and existential angst that doesn’t let up from beginning to end, it zaps you with the kind of lightning that just doesn’t strike twice.
But to their credit, the supremely sardonic Littlehampton, U.K. trio come pretty damn close on the hotly anticipated (at least in my house) followup How Not To Be Happy. Along with all the chunky Cobain-style riffs, speeding crash-bash beats and throat-shredding vocals you expect from songs with titles like I Can’t Hear Myself Think, Takes The Piss and No One Gives A Fuck, these cuts deliberately display the band’s musical evolution and ambitions, putting a greater emphasis on subversively poppy melodies, crisp performances and subtle arrangements. They might not be happy, but you certainly should be.
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The product of their fading seaside-resort hometown of Littlehampton, Gloo speak for the timeless day-to-day toil and angst; a rhapsody to lives gone stale, the band’s pop-laced punk rock is the perfect soundtrack to those in need of a little 21st-century escapism.
Growing up in a place such as Littlehampton on England’s south coast, 20 miles east of Brighton and a world away from London’s bright lights, instils a certain appreciation for life’s simple things. But if we’re not here for a time, we might as well have a time, right? How Not To Be Happy, Gloo’s second full-length offering speaks of that in abundance: 10 tracks of escapism that reflect the drudgery of the everyday but seek to shrug it off over the course of a 30-minute blur of power-pop, post-grunge and punk rock. The album. was recorded with Jag Jago (The Maccabees, Jamie T, Max Raptor) across the summer of 2020, in between local lockdowns.”