GLOO - How Not To Be Happy
8Overall Score
GLOO - How Not To Be Happy8

GLOO, How Not To Be Happy
Hassle Records

The title of GLOO’s latest record may seem a bit counterproductive – do we really need a schooling on pessimism right now? But that’s so far from what the album is – How Not To Be Happy is a schooling on how to not give a fuck, truly, and make sure you’re having fun and getting by no matter what’s inside your head. And besides that, it’s just a scorching punk record absolutely fit to keep the carefree energy of summer going well into the darker seasons.

Yes, every track is a high-octane explosion of noise and delightfully shouty vocals just built to soundtrack the shoving of a mosh-pit – but GLOO capture an energy that, rather than being frantic, is totally laidback. Single Swimming In Your Sea’s west-coast sunny vibe and groovy guitar melodies set the pitch for this, but the laissez-faire attitude of more upbeat cuts aptly keeps things chilled. The likes of No One Gives A Fuck and Work So Hard are the perfect clash of nihilism and effortlessness that despite their punchy riffs and shout-along choruses, you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief listening to them.

GLOO’s musical blue-print has been intact from the outset, and How Not To Be Happy remains a masterclass in buzz. The album doesn’t just tackle themes of anger and escapism, it’s made to channel those very things in a live-show whirlwind of catharsis – it only takes the first 20 seconds of opener I Can’t Hear Myself Think to know that this is going to be a record to throw yourself into, and that 20 seconds isn’t even the track kicking in. It’s literally just a promise of a build, an ever-so-inviting bass note and the knowledge that GLOO are inviting us in for thirty-odd minutes of forgetting about our problems.

GLOO have captured a very specific mood in How Not To Be Happy – it’s not happy. But it’s not sad either – it’s the space in between, when you just need a break from it all, and in the album, they’ve provided that break. Spot on, lads.

How Not To Be Happy is out this Friday!