Theme Park – Theme Park
Released 25th February 2013
The underground scene is not unfamiliar to London band Theme Park. Or is it London band Theme Park is not unfamiliar to the underground scene? Fans of Bombay Bicycle Club and Two Door Cinema Club (why hasn’t this band renamed themselves Theme Park Club yet?) will no doubt be versed in the sounds of this green indie artist, which has only been on the scene for a little over a year, yet has received accolades many well-seasoned musicians would kill for. Since forming and releasing their single Milk, this trio has been revered on a slew of ‘the next big thing’ lists and has toured alongside everyone from Bombay Bicycle Club to Summer Camp. Surprisingly though, they consider themselves pop artists more than anything else, when a listen through their self-titled sophomore clearly leans them closer toward the indie-dance persuasion. No matter.
The sound is cruisy, the lyrics are simple and the vocals are deadly smooth. It’s the kind of music that would play in the back of the club, where the booze is on tables and the conversation is rich and audible. And where their previous EP heavily unbalanced covers and original (read, original), Theme Park is all theirs. It starts slowly, sending beats from the head first through the hips and down to the toes. The single, Jamaica sits early on the album and rightly so. It’s an easy listen. Slow and groovy, this feel-good song restricts itself to a head-nod and is an ultimately unmemorable one at that. Two Hours picks up the pace in an addictive beat that swings the hips and could easily find itself on the dance floor, while Tonight is a different kind of dance floor. Reminiscent of 70s Bee Gees groove, Theme Park plays the al falsetto across a number of octaves and reaches for the disco ball and synths with successful ease. Wax and Ghosts are sweetly melodic, positive tunes that waft through the air and tingle the senses.
The change of pace finds itself with track 10, Los Chikas, a more stripped back, piano-based ditty reminiscent of 60s Doo Wop and is an inspired opener for the final track, Blind. Beginning with the deep, gravelly vocals of Miles Haughton, it quickly rises about the din, glorifying in the light as it streams through the parting clouds. Chords converge as the halo of a choir of backing vocals build this track beyond its simplistic melody, giving it a depth the rest of the album dismisses. True, it’s not often that you find such a well-rounded closer, but then, it’s not often you find a pop/folk/indie/dance/disco band like Theme Park.