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SXSW Live Shot: Thumpers

London duo on Sub Pop starts to sound important
Luke Winkie, 2:07pm, Sat. Mar. 15

First things first: It was good to see the Mohawk rally. Nothing can keep a good space down, not even unspeakable tragedy. Seeing the debauchery defiantly still in place nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Meantime, it remains to be seen whether this London duo will take off. Its new Sub Pop debut Galore arrives full of the hyperkinetic indie pop that started going out of style years ago. And yet Thumpers make party music, full of life and wonder. Does that ever go out of mode?

It jumps off the album and swallows you in a big hug. It’s the sort of thing that makes up for its lack of idiosyncrasies with flat-out energy. Music that literally jumps up and down.

A live show remains the best sales pitch. Hawaiian shirts and pummeling noise. The sheer power of people who love music making it right in front of you. The squirrelly ambition of a band that refuses to back down on the fourth day of SXSW, when most bands are down for the count. If they keep up this pace, they’ll convince a lot of people.

A studio will never reach these heights. It’s like watching fireworks on YouTube. What I can say is that a half hour watching their music gave me pause, and Thumpers started to sound like an important band.

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