How is it possible not to like a band capable of producing a song so lovely as ‘Kiss Me By The Water Cooler’? How is it possible to have anything but good will towards a band who seem to be trying so hard and enjoying themselves so much? I put it to you, your honour, that it is not.
And there are some wonderful moments on Tumble. If the sheer vim of ‘Collider’ doesn’t get you then maybe the unusual melodies of tracks like ‘Here Comes The Sun’ will. If Gary Cansell’s offbeat vocal style is not for you, then surely you’ll enjoy the more conventional warmth provided by Emily Sills. The crowning glory of the album begins with her: the exquisite ‘Kiss Me By The Water Cooler’, a song in which Sills and Cansell beg to be kissed in different places and situations. It’s a simple idea, perfectly capturing the all-engulfing, joyful and slightly dangerous quality of early, obsessional love – and more to the point, it’s utterly beguiling.
There’s some frustration, then, that the album does not always hit those heights. That Hero & Leander should be lyrically interesting is not surprising given Cansell also writes for the Sunday Times, but perhaps the band at times are trying a little too hard. Paradoxically, when they try hardest, throwing all sorts at Tumble and seeing what sticks, they can come across a little indie-by-numbers – here a little Kaiser Chiefs, there a touch of Magic Numbers; none of it bad, just a little indistinct in its desire to be different.
In their quieter, simpler moments, though, like ‘One Three Four’ and ‘Everything Will Be’ there is plenty to savour. And when a band is having this much fun, it’s hard not to be won over. Even if it can’t sustain it for its 35-minute duration, Tumble will surely put a smile on your face.