GUMS! are a Glasgow indie pop band and, like most indie pop bands, they are probably all but invisible to anyone who can manage to drink a full pint of lager yet it would appear from their compilation “Flats (2012-2016)” that their obscurity is no reflection of the quality of their music.
Better known bands such as The Just Joans have successfully demonstrated that it is possible to mix twee into irony and, at least in sonic terms, GUMS! appear to have been hewn from the same block of anorak coloured sandstone but all is not quite as it seems as the twee part has been transformed by GUMS! into the kind of laconic indifference that students used to have when failure was not just an option but a lifestyle choice and, while the lyrics all reek of a square peg in a round hole mentality, it isn’t long before the low key literacy and the plethora of good old fashioned hooks grab your attention. When you think about it, all this could be traumatic for the cool kids as they simply won’t ever be able to admit how much they like songs like these.
I suppose that I should pick out a couple of favourites. The bone dry humour underpinning “The Willow Café” made the world a better place for all of its two minutes and five seconds in the sunshine. Likewise, “Grangemouth At The Dawn” proved more uplifting than any anything swathed in downbeat misfit influences ever should and the manic post punk charm powering “Dancing In Your Room” was more than enough to make me believe that Red Bull does actually give you wings. OK, that’s three but two just wasn’t enough.
GUMS!, despite the curse of indie pop being upon them, are a band with songs that should be sung and that is more than enough to justify a thumbs up from me.
Last time I checked, this album was available as a free download from Bandcamp. Bargain!