Sports Team - 'Gulp!'

7/10

During the promotional run for their breakout debut album 'Deep Down Happy' in 2020, Sports Team were greeted as an antithesis to the current post-punk trend that had begun to absorb the nation at that time. While many of their contemporaries like IDLES and Fontaines DC were pushing for more working class representation in the music scene, Sports Team's Cambridge educated background almost made them pariahs to those calling the shots. But despite all that, they managed a chart topping offering, and are now looking to do it all again on their sophomore LP 'Gulp!', a record that sees them harness a more energetic feel.

While their debut effort was never short of a fun and vibrant dose of glittering pop-rock, 'Gulp!' sees the group focus more on the joyous side of their sound this time around. Essentially looking to revive the bright and hip-shaking attitude that littered the Britpop sound throughout the 90s, their latest collection aims for big riffs and toe-tapping swagger as often as possible. Feeling far more light and carefree when compared to its predecessor, Sports Team are now looking to add a more diverse layer to their sound, something that builds a bridge between themselves and their critics.

Although the standout singles show a far more adventurous spirit than some of the album cuts on here, 'Gulp!' still makes for an enjoyable and rousing listen. They have clearly matured into themselves and their identity, now pursuing something that is a little less throwaway and more adhered to their blossoming potential.

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