Review Summary: A sincere attempt at a debut EP that ultimately falls flat with bland production and a bland concept
Thomas Thorpe is a Bradford musician who ultimately deserves to be more well known than he is. In terms of songwriting and performance, he is a very talented guy who deserves a lot more credit then he gets. However, this is a very average release to debut with. For the purpose of this review, I will be going through each song individually in order to give a full overview of the EP.
Track 1: Woo!
The title track of the EP starts off really well, with bass-heavy distorted guitars. However, my main issue with this track is Thorpe's vocals, as the vocals have almost no emotion to them. The production on the track is so bland there isn’t much to comment on, it feels like he finished it in twenty minutes and didn’t give it another thought. Everything I’ve said so far makes the track seem like background noise, but then he starts to rap. The rapping on this song, and on most of his songs, sounds plain bad. It sounds like he’s trying to go for Ed Sheeran's “you need me, I don’t need you” but misses the mark and ends up on vanilla ice mixed with Shawn Mendes playing the guitar. Sheeran, think of him what you will, is a magnificent lyricist, Thorpe however, doesn’t seem to be able to get a hold on what he’s trying to say, as he fumbleShawns through verses to try and make himself seem cool. It’s not working, stop.
Track 2: Second Hand Lover.
More of a ballad compared to the title track, I find myself enjoying this track much more as it plays to his strengths much more. This track sounds heavily influenced by 808s era Kanye, as the vocal distortion mixed with the autotune almost drowns out his voice (in a good way). The guitar work is great and the effects sound lovely. However, the production is another letdown, with the sonic field feeling a bit empty. Also, the addition of dubstep pad synths in the last half baffles me as it doesn’t fit the songs feel at all and makes it incoherent. I would still say this is the best song off of the EP and I would be very pleased if he made more tracks like this.
Track 3: Nightlife
God this track. This is probably the worst example of the British working-class anthems I’ve ever heard. It’s so clear Thorpe is ripping off the arctic monkeys in the worst way possible, by ripping off the lyrical content but trying to put his own singing style on it. This song is just so obnoxious, with the guitar work being boringly repetitive and the drums being produced like he just beat a wooden box. It’s just a really poor first single, it makes no identity for himself and makes him sound like a moaning drunk. PS, the single cover is a complete catfish and the bottlemen ripoff. Try harder.
Track 4: Sweet Treacle.
Ah yes, the closing track. A sweet electric guitar ballad with the first example of decent production on the ep. This track reminds me of sam fenders closing track “leave fast” with the soft guitar work. I honestly would really love this track, but the mixing completely ruins it, as the guitar and the vocals almost mix into one and sound really swampy. The string sections are great, but can barely be made out due to the subpar mixing. Just a message to Thomas, get a new producer, he clearly can’t do his job properly. Even with these tracks issues, I really do enjoy it. It closes the EP perfectly and following up nightlife makes it seem like this eps true conclusion. Good job on this one.
This EP is a let down if I'm honest. I truly do feel Thomas would be amazing in the underground, but this isn’t the ep to do it with. It falls flat on its face because of the poor production choices and lack of innovation to keep me intrigued. I don’t mind music that isn’t pushing the boundary, but when in your Spotify bio it says “(Thorpe) enjoys experimenting with what he can put together” I expect more than a toddler glueing his hands together.