Sports Team: “Gulp!” album review – vivid in detail, chaotic in all the right places


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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

There’s something extra when it comes to likes of Sports Team.

Leaving round-the-block queues for Moth Club ambition and Mercury prize nominations aside, they have pizzazz by the pint either, through their explosive live state or their wired slabs of guitar pickings that are just out to have a load of fun.

Here for a good time – not so much for a long time – Sports Team blitz it from their nominated-debut Deep Down Happy in 2020 with Gulp! A poignant moment in modern life, their songs are both exploration of the affectionate and the disdainful, all the while keeping it in the lurch of the fun and the bounce of that alternative indie rock fuzz. Drawing very much from the art-school punk days of Talking Heads, splatters of colour and emotion can be seen in both the character and dynamic of the band from London.

It’s certainly not a stretch to compare frontman Alex Rice’s lyrics to the works of David Byrne, both in group and solo stuff. Every moment in the 10-track lineup is rife with buoyant energy and big singalong moments, perfect for the back-and-forth bartering in a respectable bar brawl. Opener, The Game is a self-assured space, perfect for the scenics BBC Radio 6 Music, waking up those alternative quirks with their decaf.

While The Drop is very much a modern sprucing of Talking Heads’ Life During Wartime, with both synth and horns galore interpolated in a song fitting to the ’80s. Seeking approval of achievement all the while never really being able to enjoy being in the moment, (Oh, Katie died, just waiting for the right time to retire/I’ll clean my sheets, oh, there’s something in my teeth that I can’t find/Oh, honeybee, whoopsie, silly me, I lost my mind/Oh, honey bear, you caught me unaware, I’ll let it slide), The Drop shows the departure of the determination we see in Deep Down Happy and comes away with that mutual feeling of anxiety in the youths of today.

While The Drop is certainly the wake-up call, Cool It Kid is the therapy script, (Doctor Doctor, my heart is on tight/It sings like lobsters when you boil them alive/Oh, there’s no cure, but with butter and chives/And a little wine on the side you’ll be fine).

Unstuck is a jaunty feeling of imbalance while R Entertainment is the re-assurance of just needing the simple things in life… with just a little entertainment. (Oh I do not need, the air that I breathe/The grass in my eyes, the moon at my feet/If I could contain, the function to breathe/Then I would be fine..)

Getting Better is a sundown comedown, inspiring that extra feeling life despite their less-so go-getter lyricism, (‘Cause it’s only getting better/’Til it starts off getting worse/And they put you in the garden/Under six old feet of dirt/And the worms are singing love songs/And the birds are saying grace/And the money in your pocket/Well it isn’t yours to waste) while Fingers is very much an indie rock slice true to the game, taking a dig at those who perverse hiding away on the Internet and Light Industry is a brilliant eclipse ending in a fashion of flurry. The cartoonish swagger of Gulp! is to be admired among many, as Sports Team take another authoritative step into everything they believe in.

A sparkling return with an equally impressive run of live shows, I would put them on your hot list to watch into the new year of next.

3 responses to “Sports Team: “Gulp!” album review – vivid in detail, chaotic in all the right places”

  1. EclecticMusicLover avatar

    Such raucous fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. manvmusic avatar

      Oh aye I love it! Eager to catch ‘em this year on their album tour 👀👀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OUR TWENTY BEST ALBUMS OF 2022… – mvm. avatar
    OUR TWENTY BEST ALBUMS OF 2022… – mvm.

    […] Sports Team: gulp! […]


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