GUM - The Underdog - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

GUM - The Underdog

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2018-04-06
GUM - The Underdog
GUM - The Underdog

Multi-instrumentalist, Jay Watson of Pond and Tame Impala has a penchant for carefree pop of the psychedelic variety, and GUM is his personal creative output. This is his fourth album, The Underdog. Depending on your taste, there are a number of electronic pop variants on The Underdog which might appeal; all contained within a kind of cosmic soul-disco and pop framework. The album doesn’t really hit its straps until ‘Seratonin’ which sounds like the more nonchalant chill of French group, Air, but not so much ‘Sexy Boy’ from Moon Safari as ‘How Does it Make You Feel’ from 10,000 Hz Legend. That is to say, sleepy downtempo or dream pop laced with cute electronica but delivered with a glacial predilection. 

The spirit of Syd Barrett is imbued in the track ‘Rehearsed in a Dream’ which has a pretty melodic line, and ‘Couldn’t See Past My Ego’ itself has an attractive hook that courses through your synapses and bumps dopamine levels almost instantaneously. A lovely track suited to cocktails at dusk.  It’s not quite repeated elsewhere but, as is the modern trend, the album is stylistically eclectic but a disjointed listen. The next cracker is ‘Trying My Best’ which jumps about in bi-polar fashion from interplanetary outpost to light industrial, and ending in a carnival of whirling synths.  

The Underdog has moments of true inspiration hampered, perhaps, by too extended a reach, but no mind, “Couldn’t See Past My Ego’ and ‘Seratonin’ are perfectly honed slices of pop perfection and worth the price of admission alone.  


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